Civil Practice Guidelines

I. General

  1. Professional Behavior best serves your clients and the Court. The “Introductory Statement on Civility” published at the front of the Local Rules for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has universal applicability.
  2. Counsel to follow the Local Rules. All Pre-Trials or other court conferences are held at 9:00 a.m. unless otherwise specifically noted in the order.

II. Ex Parte Communications

  1. Counsel and unrepresented parties are reminded that Court staff are unable, both legally and ethically, to engage in unilateral, or ex parte communications, or to provide advice regarding legal rights or duties. Counsel should set up conference calls with opposing counsel and unrepresented parties before calling the Court, or obtain opposing counsel’s approval, or at a minimum provide notice before contacting the Court ex parte. Opposing counsel and unrepresented parties should be “cc’d” on all emails with Court staff.

III. Discovery

  1. When submitting a Joint Discovery Plan, if the parties are agreeing to dates that are different than those set forth in the Clerk’s original case schedule, the parties must submit a proposed order reflecting the requested changes to the case schedule.
  2. Parties are required to engage in resolution of disputes pursuant to the Civil Rules. Should communications reach an impasse, contact the staff attorney; the Court will then refer the matter to the magistrate.

IV. Motion Practice

  1. Page limits enforced. Leave to exceed will be granted only in limited circumstances. Parties shall include a working email address and phone number in the signature block of each motion filed. Agreed/unopposed motions should be accompanied by a proposed entry uploaded in Microsoft Word format through e-filing.
  2. Do not copy and paste images of documents into motions where the font is less than 12 points.

V. Continuances or Amended Case Schedules

  1. For good cause shown. Submit an appropriate judgment entry after getting dates from the Court’s staff attorney.
  2. Stipulations or “Agreed” Entries are not sufficient to postpone civil trials in Courtroom 7E. Motions for continuance of a trial date must be in writing and should be sought well before the Final Pre-trial Conference.

VI. Status Conferences

  1. Parties can request status conferences by either contacting the Court’s staff attorney or filing a written motion. Conferences are conducted in-person and in the mornings.

VII. Mediations

  1. If counsel want to submit their case to mediation with Magistrate Hunt, they should call the staff attorney and advise that counsel are in agreement. The Court also encourages the use of private mediators whose schedules may be more accommodating.

VIII. Settlement Conferences

  1. Can be arranged at any stage in the proceedings before the magistrate.

IX. Pre-Trials

  1. Pre-Trial statements required as provided for under the Civil/Local Rules. No attendance by telephone. Parties not required to attend unless otherwise ordered. Counsel shall come with full settlement authority.

X. Trials

  1. Full set of jury instructions should be emailed to the secretary by the morning of trial. Jury trials may be referred to the magistrate with consent of all parties in order to obtain a date certain.
  2. If a case genuinely appears likely to require a trial, alert the staff attorney as soon as possible so that we can do our best to allow enough time for pre-trial proceedings, to attempt to avoid scheduling conflicts, and to try and assign a “firm” trial date.

 XI. Notice of Settlement 

  1. Consistent with Local Rule 22, counsel must call the staff attorney or secretary as soon as possible to advise when a case has been settled.
  2. Normally, a formal notice will be sent by the Court confirming settlement, and advising that counsel have 30 days to file a final Entry or stipulation of dismissal. If the final Entry or stipulation is not timely received, the Court will dismiss the case from the active docket pursuant to Local Rule 25.03.