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Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt

Common Pleas Courthouse, Courtroom 6B
345 S. High St., 6th Floor
Columbus, Oh 43215
Tel: 614-525-6281
Fax: 614-525-6292
Local Rules
Clerk of Courts' on-line records

Who to call . . .when you need . . .

Kishia L. Drummer
General court information, Judge Beatty Blunt speaking requests, and scheduling.

Sarah Brandon
Inquiries about procedures and processes in any criminal matters before the Court.

Amy Vogel
Staff Attorney
To request a status conference; inquire about any pending civil matters before the Court; report settlement of a case; inquire about Judge Beatty Blunt’s courtroom procedures.

Karla Kaeser
Court Reporter
To order transcripts.

Ed Skeens
To inquire about scheduling mediation, magistrate trials, or damages hearings.

Litigation Preferences
(for info on criminal procedures and preferences, please call the Judge’s bailiff)
Professionalism: All persons shall show respect for the law, parties, counsel, deputies and staff. Appropriate dress is required.
Attire: No shorts, tank tops, hats, or offensive shirts are permitted in the courtroom.
Cell phones: Cell phones and pagers should be turned off or set to vibrate before entering the courtroom.
Status Conferences:
Scheduling: Counsel should make all reasonable efforts to resolve disputes between themselves. If that is impossible, counsel may request a status conference prior to filing a motion by contacting the Court’s staff attorney, Amy Vogel. Status conferences may be conducted by Judge Beatty Blunt or Amy Vogel. Counsel should be prepared to discuss their willingness to waive a jury and/or have the case heard by Magistrate Ed Skeens
Telephone appearances: Out of town counsel may participate in status conferences via telephone with advance notice to the Court and opposing counsel. If appearance by telephone is permitted, arrangements should be made with Amy Vogel for counsel to initiate the telephone call.
Joint Pretrial Statements: Counsel should file joint pretrial statements pursuant to Local Rule 41.04.
Topics: Counsel should be prepared to discuss: parties’ willingness to waive a jury and/or have the case heard by Magistrate Ed Skeens, the number of days anticipated to conclude trial, number of parties and witnesses participating at trial, any special scheduling needs, jury instructions, outstanding issues and motions, and explore settlement. Parties shall come with full settlement authority.
Courtroom technology: The Court encourages the use of technology available in the new courthouse. If unfamiliar with courtroom technology, parties should schedule a time with Amy Vogel to become familiar with the technology before the trial. Counsel shall inform the Court if an evidence cart needs to be reserved for the trial.
Jury Instructions and Verdict Forms/Interrogatories: Proposed civil jury instructions and verdict forms should be emailed in Microsoft Word format at least 14 days prior to the start of trial to Amy Vogel. Deposition objections: Deposition transcripts shall be submitted to the Court in hardcopy form at least 14 days prior to the start of trial, and counsel shall notify Amy Vogel of any objections that need to be ruled upon.
Motion Practice:
Page Limits: The Court will enforce page limitations pursuant to Local Rule 12. The Court will consider a motion for leave to file a brief in excess of the page limits only where good cause is shown.
Agreed/Unopposed Motions: Agreed/unopposed motions should be accompanied by a proposed entry uploaded in Microsoft Word format through e-filing. Please indicate in the title of the motion and order that it is agreed/unopposed.
Counsel shall include a working email address and phone number in the signature block of each motion filed.

Questions regarding technical issues with the Court’s e-filing system should be directed to the Court’s E-filing Hotline at (614) 525-2600.
Please follow the deadlines as outlined in the Case Management Schedule. Counsel should make all reasonable efforts to resolve disputes between themselves. If that is impossible, counsel may request a status conference prior to filing a motion. Conferences may be conducted by Amy Vogel or Judge Beatty Blunt. Please contact Amy Vogel to schedule.
Settlement Conferences:
Parties are expected to negotiate in good faith and thoroughly explore all matters in an attempt to reach a peaceful resolution before proceeding to trial. The Court may refer cases to Magistrate Ed Skeens for mediation.

Counsel should inform the Court immediately upon settling a case. Counsel should not wait until a release has been fully executed or settlement payments have been made to inform the Court of a settlement.
Continuances or Amended Case Schedules:
Agreed requests are preferred. Motions to continue must specify: 1) the reason for the continuance, 2) whether the continuance is opposed, and 3) the length of time needed.

Trial dates: If a case genuinely appears likely to require a trial, alert chambers as soon as possible so that we can do our best to assign a firm trial date after allowing adequate time for pretrial proceedings.

Attorney Withdrawals:
All motions to withdraw from a case should comply with Local Rule 18 and include the address where the clerk should forward information. Motions to withdraw should be accompanied by an order granting the motion that also includes the address where the clerk should forward information.

Foreclosure cases:
Continuances:Absent extraordinary circumstances, the Court will not grant a motion to continue the trial date that is filed within 10 daysof the trial date.

Attorney Certification: Because many documents submitted in residential foreclosures have not been properly authenticated under the Rules of Civil Procedure, additional safeguards are necessary to protect the validity of any judgment that might ensue. Accordingly, before Judge Beatty Blunt will grant any dispositive motion (for either default or summary judgment) in a residential foreclosure action, plaintiff’s counsel must personally certify the authenticity and accuracy of all documents submitted in support of judgment. Where no certification of counsel is submitted, or where the submitted certification is not acceptable to the Court, the dispositive motion will be overruled and the case will be scheduled for trial.

Judge Beatty Blunt requires the Attorney Certification .
Hours/Breaks: Trials ordinarily commence at 9:00 a.m. and recess for the day between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. These hours can be altered somewhat to accommodate witness schedules. While pleas in criminal cases and other court business may be conducted during breaks or over the noon hour, once a jury is sworn we make it a priority to move jury trials to completion. Foreseeable delays or scheduling conflicts should be raised by counsel at the final pretrial.

Jury selection: All members of the jury venire called for trial (usually 28 persons) are normally subject to voir dire simultaneously. Following voir dire, challenges are normally exercised outside the presence of the jury. Judge Beatty Blunt will seat 10 jurors (including 2 alternates) for civil cases and 14 jurors (including 2 alternates) for criminal cases. Jurors are permitted to take notes after being sworn. However jurors are not permitted to ask questions.

Motions in Limine: Motions in limine may only be filed after discussion in good faith among counsel, and after counsel certify they have met and exhausted efforts to resolve the issues. The court also seeks to avoid unfair gamesmanship, extra cost, or delay caused by eleventh hour motions in limine. The court will deny any such motion presented on the day of trial. Motions in limine must be filed 2 weeks before the trial date.

Trial Exhibits: Trial exhibits must be pre-marked, copied, and exchanged prior to the Final Pretrial Conference. Trial counsel is responsible for eliminating duplicate exhibits and discussing formal matters such as authenticity well before the start of trial. Copies of exhibits should be made available for the court (2), witness stand (1), the parties (1), and the originals maintained by the court reporter.

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