|Who to call . . .||when you need . . .|
|general court information; to schedule a classroom visit to the courtroom; to call in for a telephone status conference.|
Amy E. Flowers
|to inquire about procedures and processes in any criminal matters; to report settlement of a civil case, pursuant to Loc. R. 22. |
|to request a status conference or to inquire about any pending civil matters before the court; to report that parties are engaging in settlement and address how that may impact pending motions. |
|to order transcripts.|
|to inquire about scheduling mediation, magistrate trials, or damages hearings.|
Civil Litigation Preferences
(for info on criminal procedures and preferences, please call the Judge’s bailiff)
|General: Each person entering the courtroom is expected to treat others as they wish to be treated. The Court expects professionalism, civility and proper courtroom decorum at all times. Appropriate dress is required (no shorts, tank tops, or hats). Cell phones and pagers should be turned off or set to vibrate when entering the courtroom.|
|Status Conferences: Judge Cocroft welcomes the use of status conferences to resolve issues among counsel. Counsel may request status conferences to discuss matters including, but not limited to, discovery disputes and scheduling conflicts. Status conferences will be conducted by Judge Cocroft or her Staff Attorney, Emily Valandingham. Counsel must obtain advance permission from the Court to appear by telephone for status conferences and must alert opposing counsel if permission for telephonic participation is granted.|
|Pre-Trials: Upon request. Pursuant to Loc. R. 41.04, counsel shall file a joint Pre-Trial Statement on or before the date of the final pre-trial conference. Counsel must appear in person for the final pre-trial. If no final pre-trial is scheduled, then counsel shall file the joint pre-trial statement no later than fourteen (14) days before trial. For a checklist of information that will be discussed at the final pre-trial, please contact Judge Cocroft’s Bailiff, Amy Flowers.|
|Motion Practice: When appropriate, please indicate whether opposing counsel agrees with the motion and submit a proposed agreed entry for the Court’s consideration. Counsel may request oral argument when a matter involves complex issues or law or fact. Please follow Loc. R. 11 regarding proper motions procedures and practice including, but not limited to, page limitations and correct motion titles.|
|Discovery: Please follow the deadlines outlined in the original Case Management Schedule and the rules regarding discovery. If counsel cannot resolve a discovery dispute, then Judge Cocroft will schedule a status conference to discuss outstanding issues. While counsel may extend discovery beyond the deadline outlined in the Case Management Schedule (so long as continued discovery does not delay any other event in the Case Schedule), Loc. R. 47.02 prevents the Judge from intervening in a discovery dispute after the cutoff date specified in the Case Management Schedule, unless there are extraordinary circumstances.|
|Settlement Conferences: Settlements are favored and parties are expected to negotiate in good faith in attempting to reach a resolution of a matter prior to trial. If the parties agree to mediate, then counsel should advise the Court promptly and request a referral for mediation. At the request of a party and when appropriate, Judge Cocroft will refer a matter to Magistrate Christine Lippe for mediation. Please refer to Loc. R. 22 and Loc. R. 25 for additional information. |
|Continuances or Amended Case Schedules: Continuances should be requested as soon as possible and will be granted only for good cause shown. Before contacting the Court regarding continuances, counsel should speak with one another. Generally, a first request for continuance can be made orally. A second request for continuance must be submitted on motion. Any subsequent requests for continuances must be submitted on motion and must include a client’s signature, as required by Sup. R. 41. Once the Court is contacted, please advise whether a request for continuance is agreed or opposed. If the continuance is unopposed, then submit an agreed entry. |
Every effort must be made to complete a case within the timeframe designated in the Case Management Schedule. If a situation arises such that the schedule must be modified beyond that time period, counsel must promptly notify the Court and request a status conference (in person or via telephone) to discuss an amended case schedule and explain why an amendment is needed.
|Trials: Confirmation of Trial: The trial date may be confirmed with Judge Cocroft’s Bailiff, Amy Flowers. |
Trial Procedure: Generally, trials will begin at 9:00am and will end at 4:30pm, though the Court understands that this schedule is dependent upon other factors that are sometimes beyond the control of the Court and counsel. There will be an hour break for lunch at 12:00pm noon, with additional breaks during the mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Foreseeable delays or scheduling conflicts should be raised by counsel at the final pre-trial.
Jury Instructions: Please e-mail jury instructions in Word document format to Jill_Dunlevy@fccourts.org by no later than fourteen (14) days before trial.
Voir Dire: Judge Cocroft will ask preliminary questions. The Court will allow jurors to make a statement before counsel conduct voir dire. Challenges are generally out of the hearing of the jurors.
Jury Procedures: Jurors will be allowed to take notes. Jurors will not be permitted to ask questions. Jurors may bring water into the courtroom.