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RULE 39A
PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCES

Analysis



Purpose of pre-trial conferences

39A.01.  The participants in a pre-trial conference shall come prepared and authorized to discuss and determine, where applicable,

             (a)  simplification of the issues;

             (b)  the amendment and filing of briefs for the benefit of the trial judge;

             (c)  the necessity or desirability of an amendment to a pleading, affidavit or notice;

             (d)  admissions of fact or of consent documents;

             (e)  the resolution of the quantum of damages, if any, or any other matter by making it the subject of a reference;

              (f)  limitations on the number of expert witnesses;

             (g)  arrangements for expert witnesses to determine, on a without prejudice basis, those matters on which they agree and to identify those matters on which they do not agree;

             (h)  arrangements and procedures for the conduct of lengthy or complex trials;

              (i)  the appropriateness of conducting a settlement conference or mini-trial;

              (j)  the appropriateness of assigning a fixed date for trial; and

             (k)  other matters that may aid in the disposition of the proceeding.

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How to get a matter on the Pre-Trial List

39A.02.  Matters shall be placed on the Pre-Trial List

             (a)  under rules 40.04 or 40.05; or

             (b)  by order of a judge either following a settlement conference or otherwise.

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Documents to be filed before pre-trial conferences

39A.03.  (1) At least 5 days before the date of the pre-trial conference, each party shall file for delivery to the pre-trial conference judge a brief containing a summary of the facts, issues and law and shall deliver on the same date a copy to each other party.

             (2)  Notwithstanding rule 46.07, at least 4 days before the scheduled date of a pre-trial conference, the parties shall exchange copies of all expert opinions and reports in their possession or under their control and upon which they intend to rely at trial and shall produce those opinions and reports to the judge at the conference.

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Disposition of pre-trial conference

39A.04.  At or following a pre-trial conference the judge shall

             (a)  order that the parties attend a settlement conference or mini-trial;

             (b)  order a summary trial or expedited trial;

             (c)  order that the proceeding be removed from the Pre-Trial List where the judge determines that the case is not ready for trial, without prejudice to the parties to file a new Certificate of Readiness under rule 40.04; or

             (d)  unless a settlement conference, mini-trial, summary trial or expedited trial has been ordered, order that the proceeding be set down for trial in accordance with rule 40.06,

and in any event, may make an order reciting the results of the conference and giving those directions as the judge considers advisable however, the order may be modified by subsequent order or at trial.

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Report of the pre-trial conference

39A.05.  Notwithstanding rule 39.06(2), a pre-trial conference judge shall provide a report to the trial judge summarizing the anticipated issues in the trial and relevant agreements between the parties.

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Pre-trial conference judge shall not preside at trial

39A.06.  A judge who presides at a pre-trial conference shall not, except with the consent of the parties, preside at the trial.

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