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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Standing Orders - Courtroom 2020

Judge Kenneth Popejoy

            The purpose of the standing order is to provide guidance to the attorneys and litigants who appear in Courtroom 2020 so as to promote efficient and consistent treatment for every case.     

STATUS CALL - 9:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday 

            The Clerk of the Court automatically sets the first status date within 90 days of the filing of a complaint.  Failure to appear shall result in a dismissal for want of prosecution.  The purpose of the initial status date is to verify service of summons on the defendants and any appearances.  If all the defendants have appeared and answered the complaint, a discovery schedule may be entered by the Court.  Any status dates thereafter are set by the Court. 

MOTIONS FOR PRESENTMENT - 9:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday 

             In order to be heard on a Notice of Motion, the attorney or pro se litigant must first schedule the date and time with the Judge's secretary by telephone (630-407-8806).  The e-mail request will be confirmed by a reply email.  Filing the Notice of Motion with the Clerk's office alone will not place the motion on the call. If the opposing side wishes to respond to the motion in writing, a briefing schedule will be entered and hearing date will be set by the Court.  Courtesy copies of all motions scheduled for presentment shall be delivered to Judge's Chambers 5 days prior to presentment.

CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE - S.Ct.Rule. 218 - 9:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday     

            Supreme Court Rule requires that the court hold a case management conference within 35 days after the parties are at issue (all defendants have appeared and answered the complaint) and in no event more than 182 days after the filing of the Complaint.  The Circuit Court Clerk sets the first Case Management Conference date (CMC) which is stamped on the Complaint in the top right corner.  Failure to appear shall result in a dismissal for want of prosecution.  Thereafter, the Court sets any CMC dates.  Pursuant to S.Ct.Rule 218, counsel and any pro se litigant who appear shall be familiar with the case and prepared to discuss the nature, issues and complexity of the case, potential amendments to the pleadings, potential stipulations concerning facts and documents, the number and duration of depositions, retention of expert witnesses, deadlines for written discovery, disclosure of witnesses, depositions, scheduling of a settlement conference and/or mediation, the date the case should be ready for trial, and future case management dates.  The Court expects orders setting discovery schedules to be followed.  If the parties cannot comply with the set schedule, a motion to extend the time to perform the discovery, with good cause shown, should be presented on or before the next status date.  If no such motion is presented, a failure to follow the discovery schedule can result in an order barring any further extension of time to perform that discovery.  

CONTESTED MOTIONS - 9:30 Monday through Thursday    

            Contested Motions are scheduled by the Court and not the Judge's secretary.      

            Once a contested hearing date has been set, it will not be continued without good cause shown.  If the request for continuance occurs within 48 hours of the hearing, the Court may, in its discretion, deny the continuance and decide the motion without oral argument of any party not present for the hearing. 

            Pursuant to local Court rule, printed courtesy copies of the motion, response, and reply should be provided to the court seven days in advance by the movant (14 days for summary judgement motions). If the motion is pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-615 or 2-619, a courtesy copy of the complaint at issue must also be provided per local rule 6.05 motions, responses and replies are limited to 10 pages (excluding attachments).

            All motions shall be in strict compliance with the limitations contained in Local Rule 6.05(d).

TRIAL DATES - 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday                

            Most Trial Dates are set for Monday at 9:30 a.m. by the Court.  The Bench/Jury Trial Setting form order should be used when scheduling a jury trial date.  Trial dates are firm and requests for continuance are not encouraged and should be presented by motion at the earliest date.  A Motion to Continue a trial date will be granted only upon good cause shown.  

            If another case is set the same day, it is within the Court's discretion as to which case will proceed, whether to hold the other case for trial, reschedule the trial, or transfer the case to the Presiding Judge for immediate reassignment for trial.      

PRE-TRIAL/SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE - 8:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. Friday                

            The Court encourages settlement conferences as early as possible in the litigation process.  A pre-trial memorandum from each party shall be sent to the Judge seven days before the pre-trial with copies to opposing counsel unless a confidential memorandum is agreed to by the parties or ordered by the Court.  The plaintiff must submit a demand for settlement in the pre-trial memorandum.  At the settlement conference, the parties with authority to settle the case must be present or available by telephone. 

TRIAL CONFERENCE 

            When a jury case is set for trial, a Pre-Trial Conference date will also be set at least a week before trial.  The purpose of the Pre-Trial Conference is to review the Nature of the Case which will be read to the venire, rule on motions in limine, objections in evidence depositions, review and rule on proposed instructions, discuss jury selection, witnesses, and scheduling.  The Court can conduct a settlement conference at that time if the parties are willing to do so, but that is not the purpose of the Trial Conference.  Trial counsel must be present for the Pre-Trial Conference.  

FINAL TRIAL CONFERENCE 

            Each party is responsible to provide to the Court and opposing counsel courtesy copies of the trial materials seven days before the Pre-Trial Conference date. In a Jury trial the materials should include the following: 

1) Jointly prepared/approved Nature of the Case with a list of witnesses and estimated number of trial days;  

2) Stipulations of the Parties; 

3) List of Exhibits with courtesy copies of documents for the Court. 

4) Copies of any Evidence depositions with list of page/line number of all objections.

5) Copies of any Answers to S.Ct.Rule 216 Request to Admit which any Party wishes to introduce into evidence. 

6) Copies of the Motions in limine and any Responses thereto.  Proposed Order granting, denying or reserving each motion. 

 7) Copies of the Answers to 213 (f) (1), (2), and (3) by each Party. 

 8) Copies of the transcripts of each Party's S.Ct.Rule 213(f)(3) witnesses for the purpose of ruling on S.Ct.Rule 213 objections.  Each Party shall be prepared to cite to the 213 Answers to Interrogatories or page and line number of the deposition of their S.Ct.Rule 213(f)(3) witness to respond to a S.Ct.Rule 213 objection. 

 9) Proposed instructions, including special interrogatories -one original and one marked with the IPI number or non-IPI with case authority and identified with Plaintiff/Defendant Inst. #.  It is good practice to have the marked copy with the following: 

                        Given________ 

                        Given as modified_____ 

                        Objection_______ 

                        Refused ________ 

                        Reserved_______ 

 11) In a bench Trial, the Parties are to submit a memorandum of law, not in excess of five pages, summarizing their respective legal theories with cited authority

JURY SELECTION

The court will conduct initial questioning, followed by the plaintiff, then defendant.  Back striking is not allowed.  Excuse a juror up front if you know you are going to excuse.

Consider stipulating to a unanimous verdict of less than 12, or agree on the number of alternates.

We will select in panels of 4 for a jury of 12; panels of 6 for a jury of 6.

Five (5) peremptory challenges per side; up to eight (8) if multiple parties.  735 ILCS 5/2-1106.  Exercise peremptory challenges in open court; ask for a side bar on challenges for cause.

Try not to repeat questions already asked.

TRIAL CONDUCT

Exhibit lists are to be exchanged between parties seven (7) days prior to the Final Trial Conference with a copy to the judge.  Exhibits are to be pre-marked, such as "Plaintiff's Ex.#1" or "P'sEx.#1".  Do not move for admission into evidence in front of jury unless agreed.

Speaking objections are not allowed.  If needed, ask for a side bar.  Do not instruct a witness or juror.  If necessary, request the court in instruct.  Do not address each other in front of jury; address the court.

Witness examination shall consist of Direct/Cross/Redirect/Done.  Anything else - ask for a sidebar.

You may bring a court reporter if you wish, but CourtSmart is the official record.  Daily copy is available through CourtSmart.

Rule 213 objections concerning the scope of a witness' testimony during trial shall be taken in chambers.  Proponent of testimony must point to disclosure or deposition testimony supporting testimony.

As a general rule, I do not allow juror questions to witness under Supreme Court  Rule 243.

Motions for a directed finding or for a mistrial are to be made outside the presence of the jury.


            Dated: September 1, 2017 

            Circuit Court Judge Kenneth L. Popejoy