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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Standing Orders - Courtroom 2016

Judge Dorothy French Mallen

The purpose of the standing order is to provide guidance to the attorneys and litigants who appear in Courtroom 2016 so as to promote efficient and consistent treatment for every case.     

PRE-TRIAL/SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE - Monday - Thursday as set and Friday - 8:30 A.M. - 2:30 P.M.              

The Court encourages settlement conferences as early as possible in the litigation process.  Requests for a settlement conference may be made by motion or, if all parties are in agreement, by either calling the Judge's Secretary, Deb Wiseman (630-407-8804), or e-mailing her at Debra.Wiseman@18thjudicial.org with the proposed date.  When the date is set, an agreed order may be emailed to Ms. Wiseman for the Judge's signature.  A pre-trial memorandum shall be sent to the Judge seven days before the pre-trial with copies to opposing counsel.  No confidential pre-trial memorandums are allowed with out a court order and good cause shown. The defendant may, and is encouraged to, submit a pre-trial memorandum.  The plaintiff must submit a demand for settlement in the pre-trial memorandum.  The pre-trial memorandum need not comply with local rule, but shall contain the information necessary for a meaningful settlement conference.  At the settlement conference, the parties/persons who have the authority to settle the case must be present or available by telephone.  The Court is committed to providing the parties a platform for discussion so that every effort is made to resolve disputes before trial.  The Court performs a facilitative mediation until such time that an evaluative mediation style is more effective.  Settlement conferences have no set time limits and may continue throughout the day until 4:30 p.m. as long as progress is being made.  It may take more than one settlement conference to come to an agreement.

STATUS DATES - Monday through Thursday - 9:00 A.M.

The Clerk of the Court automatically sets the first status date within 90 days of the filing of a complaint. 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.  Parties may appear telephonically through CourtCall.  Instructions for the use of CourtCall can be found on the web page for Courtroom 2016.  The Court encourages the use of CourtCall for all routine matters.  Cases to be heard are called by the court clerk in the order in which they appear on the daily docket.

MOTIONS - Monday through Thursday - 9:00 A.M.

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, Deb Wiseman, by telephone (630-407-8804) or send the Motion Date Request Form by e-mail to debra.wiseman@18thjudicial.org. The e-mail request will be confirmed by reply e-mail or telephone. 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. If the parties can agree to the briefing schedule, you can request a contested hearing date by sending the Motion Date Request Form to the Judge's secretary at debra.wiseman@18thjudicial.org and attaching a proposed agreed order. All attorneys and pro se litigants of record must be copied on the e-mail. If approved,  the court will enter the proposed order and no one need appear until the contested hearing date. (See below)     

CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE - S.Ct. Rule. 218 - Monday through Thursday 9:00 A.M.   

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-hand corner. Thereafter, the Court sets any CMC dates. Pursuant to S.Crt.R. 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 - Monday through Thursday - 9:30 A.M.

Contested Motions are scheduled by the Court. If the parties can agree on a briefing schedule, the moving party can request a hearing date by attaching the Motion Date Request Form and proposed agreed order to an e-mail directed to debra.wiseman@18thjudicial.org. All attorneys and pro se litigants of record must be copied on the e-mail. The Parties should propose an agreed hearing date, usually seven days after the reply brief is due, in the agreed order. Ms. Wiseman will confirm the hearing date by reply e-mail or, if not available, she will provide an alternate hearing date. The movant has the responsibility to confirm that the alternate hearing date is agreeable to all parties. The Court will enter the agreed order with the briefing schedule and contested hearing date and a copy will be sent by reply e-mail.  

The contested hearing date 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, courtesy copies of the motion, response, and reply should be provided to the court seven days in advance by the movant. 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.     

TRIAL DATES - Monday - 9:30 A.M.                

The Court sets Trial Dates on Mondays at 9:30 a.m. so that jury selection can begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.  The trial continues day to day until a verdict has been reached.  The Jury Trial Setting form order should be used when scheduling a trial date.  Bench Trial dates are set by the Court at the convenience of the Court and parties and will continue day to day.  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. The Judge's secretary will advise the parties of the status of the cases set for trial and the order in which they will proceed when possible.      

TRIAL CONFERENCE 

When a jury case is set for trial, a Trial Conference date will also be set the week before trial. The purpose of the Trial Conference is to review the Nature of the Case submitted by the parties and to rule on Motions in limine, objections in Evidence depositions, Proposed instructions, discuss jury selection, and witnesses 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 Trial Conference.  

TRIAL CONFERENCE MATERIALS 

Each party is responsible to provide to the Court and opposing counsel courtesy copies of the trial materials seven days before the 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 on which the parties are requesting a ruling. Any objection not listed is waived. Only form and foundation objections are waived if not made during the deposition. All other objections are preserved.  
  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. Any Motions requesting a ruling on any disputes regarding Requests to Produce pursuant to S.Ct. Rule 237. Any request in a S.Ct.Rule 237 Notice to Produce at Trial must have been previously requested pursuant to S.Ct. Rule 214 during discovery. 
  8. Copies of the Answers to 213 (f) (1), (2), and (3) by each party. 
  9. Copies of the transcripts of each party's S.Ct. Rule 213(f)(3) witnesses.  In response to an objection based on a violation of S.Ct.Rule 213(f)(3), each party shall be prepared to cite to S.Ct.R. 213(f)(3) "Answers to Interrogatories" or page and line number in the expert's deposition transcript. 
  10. Proposed instructions, including special interrogatories - marked copy only 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_______ 

    Any jury instructions not proposed at the Trial Conference will not be considered without good cause shown unless offered before the Defendant begins the presentation of his/her/its case.  After the instructions conference, the parties shall provide to the Court the original unmarked instructions that the Court has ruled will be given.  The Court will place the original instructions in the order in which they will be read and provide a copy to counsel for approval of the order.  
  11. The Court asks limited background questions of the venire. Each party has the right to ask questions of the venire. The Court does not generally limit the time for questioning, but may do so in its discretion. If any party desires the Court to ask particular questions, a list of those questions should be submitted at the Trial Conference.              
  12. In a Bench Trial, submitted materials shall include all of the above items except #10 and #11. In addition, 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.  

Dated: March 24, 2017

Circuit Court Judge Dorothy French Mallen