LCR 40. ASSIGNMENT OF CASES (a) (No Local Rules) (b) Methods. (1) Note for Trial Assignment. All notes for trial assignment on contested cases shall, in addition to counsel's estimate of time needed for trial, indicate the issues which counsel believes will be in dispute, and shall contain the names and addresses of all attorneys, guardians ad litem, or parties appearing pro se. Counsel or the parties appearing pro se shall certify that the issues are joined. If opposing counsel disputes that the issues are joined or disagrees with the statement of issues or estimate of time needed, opposing counsel shall, prior to the trial assignment date, promptly notify the court administrator thereof in writing. Counsel or parties appearing pro se are urged to request sufficient time for these matters. Overestimation is preferred to underestimation of time needed. The form of the Note for Trial Assignment is set forth in Appendix C. (2) Mandatory Mediation. In any proceeding where mediation is required by SPR 94.08.3, no party may note the case for trial assignment until the parties have participated in good faith in mediation and a certificate of attendance at mediation has been filed with the court, or the court has found that a party refused to participate, in good faith, in mediation. (3) Conflict Dates. Counsel shall file a Notice of Conflict Dates with the clerk of the court and provide a copy to the court administrator on or before 9 a.m. of the date set for trial assignment. Conflict dates shall be limited to previously scheduled vacations and trial dates. The form of the Notice of Conflict Dates is set forth in Appendix D. (4) Trial Date Assignment. The court administrator will assign cases a specific trial date and notify the parties by mail of such date. There are no personal appearances by counsel or pro se parties on the trial assignment calendar. If more than one matter is set for trial for the same day, counsel or parties shall be required to be prepared for trial on the date set regardless of the order in which the cases are set. (c) Priority Settings. All matters are subject to the established rule that criminal cases, juvenile proceedings, and civil proceedings entitled to priority settings take precedence over all other matters and may at times cause postponement of lesser prioritized cases. (d) (No Local Rules) (e) Continuances. A trial date may be stricken or continued by agreement of the parties upon presentation of an order to the court at least thirty (30) days prior to the trial date. Any agreed order of continuance shall set forth new readiness and trial dates that have been approved by the court administrator. Any agreed order striking a trial date shall state that a new note for trial assignment and notice of conflict dates must be filed. A trial date may not be stricken or continued within thirty (30) days of the trial date except upon motion, supported by affidavits, properly noted for hearing. If the motion is granted, the order of continuance shall state that a new note for trial assignment and notice of conflicts shall be filed, unless new readiness and trial dates have been pre-approved by the court administrator, in which case the order of continuance shall set forth the new dates. The parties shall immediately provide the court administrator with a copy of any signed order striking or continuing a trial date. (f) New Trial Date. Within thirty (30) days after a trial date is stricken by order of the court, the parties shall submit a new note for trial setting and notice of conflict dates to the court administrator. (g) Settlement of Cases Set for Trial. Notice shall be given immediately to the court administrator if any case which has been assigned a trial date is settled or will not be tried for any reason whatsoever. If this rule is violated and the court incurs unnecessary expenses, such as jury expenses, the court may, in its discretion, assess such costs to the parties. (h) Confirmation of Trials. It shall be the responsibility of the parties to confirm that their trial will proceed on the scheduled trial date. Confirmation shall be made by telephone to the court administrator's office (360) 378-2399 no earlier than seven (7) or later than two (2) court days prior to the scheduled trial date.
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