Judge Dick Ambrose
(216) 348-4036
On Common Pleas Bench Since:
June 2004
. .
(216) 443-8505
Sarah J. O'Shaughnessy (216) 443-8670
Courtroom Assistant:
Joanne Gibbons (216) 348-4015
Staff Attorney:
Michael J. Davenport (216) 443-8603
Admitted to Bar:
New Rochelle, N.Y.
Westlake, Ohio
High School:
Iona Prep
University of Virginia
Law School:
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Legal Experience:
Civil Trial Attorney - Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC (2004); Chriszt McGarry Co., LPA (1996-2004); McDonald Hopkins (1987-1996).

General:At the Case Management Conference ("CMC"), the parties should be prepared to enter into a case management order regarding time frames for discovery, expert reports, dispositive motions, final pretrial, and trial. At the time of the CMC, the Court will consider whether the case is amenable to resolution through arbitration, mediation or other means of alternate dispute resolution. Parties may request to attend the CMC and pre-trials by phone if extenuating circumstances are present. Requests to attend a CMC or pre-trial by phone shall be made at least seven (7) days in advance. An attorney requesting permission to attend a CMC or pre-trial by telephone must first confirm whether opposing counsel would also like to attend by telephone. The attorney requesting telephone attendance is responsible for initiating the conference call with the Court and all interested parties. Personal appearance is required if the opposing party is not represented by counsel or has not been served with the summons and complaint.

Pre-Trials: The Judicial Staff Attorney will conduct all Case Management Conferences, unless the Court's involvement is specifically requested at least seven (7) days in advance. The Court's involvement in final pre-trials is anticipated. However, if the Court is unavailable, the parties may choose to proceed with the final pre-trial as scheduled, or reschedule to another time when the Court is available. Persons with settlement authority are to be present at the final pre-trial. Persons with settlement authority will only be excused from attending the final pre-trial if extenuating circumstances are present, permission has been requested and granted in advance, and the person is immediately available by telephone. Failure to attend a final pre-trial without prior leave of the Court may result in a contempt hearing and possible sanctions, including the Court dismissing the case for failure to prosecute pursuant to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 41(B)(1).

Motion Practice: Leave of the Court is required prior to filing any motion not otherwise permitted by rule or prior order of the Court. The Court will not consider any discovery motion, i.e., motion to compel, motion for protective order, motion to quash, etc., unless the parties follow the procedure outlined below regarding discovery disputes.
A hard copy of any e-filed motion or brief in excess of ten (10) pages (including exhibits) must be delivered to the Bailiff or Staff Attorney within three (3) days of e-filing.
Proposed Orders for the Court's signature must be delivered to the Bailiff or Staff Attorney, accompanied by a time-stamped copy of a properly filed motion, which includes a copy of the proposed order as an exhibit. Stipulations and Notices intended for filing should not include a signature line for the Court. The Clerk will not accept any paper for filing bearing a signature line for the judge which is not signed.

Discovery: The parties shall complete discovery in accordance with the dates set at the Case Management Conference. However, under certain circumstances, the Court may allow the parties to engage in discovery up to the time of trial. Discovery deadlines may not be altered without prior permission of the Court. Prior to bringing any discovery dispute to the Court’s attention, counsel shall make a concerted effort to resolve the matter by agreement. If agreement cannot be reached without the Court’s involvement, counsel shall contact the Court by telephone to resolve the dispute. Deposition conduct is subject to Local Rule. 13.1.

Settlement Conference: The Court will conduct settlement conferences at the request of the parties. Persons with settlement authority are to be present at settlement conferences. Persons with settlement authority will only be excused from attending the settlement conferences if extenuating circumstances are present, permission has been requested and granted in advance, and the person is immediately available by telephone.

Calendaring and Continuances: The Court requires a motion or joint motion, filed no later than fourteen (14) days before trial, before the Court will consider continuing any trial date. Requests to continue Case Management Conferences and pre-trials made less than seven (7) days in advance will only be considered in cases involving valid emergencies.

Trials: Seven (7) days before trial parties shall file trial briefs, witness lists, exhibit lists, and requested case-specific jury instructions (no boilerplate) and provide copies to the Court. If available, an electronic copy of requested jury instructions, in WORD format, should also be provided to the Court on compact disc (CD) or by e-mail to the Judicial Staff Attorney (mdavenport@cuyahogacounty.us). All objections to videotape testimony should be presented one (1) week prior to trial with a copy of the transcript and videotape. Motions in limine must be filed at least seven (7) days prior to trial. At the Court's discretion, the Court will allow agreed upon exhibits during opening statements. Jurors may be allowed to take notes, depending on the case.

Default Judgements:  Before the Court will consider awarding damages pursuant to a motion for default judgment, plaintiffs must provide an affidavit and documentation of expenses/losses incurred as a result of defendant's conduct. If a plaintiff's action is based on non-payment of an installment loan or a revolving credit account, then plaintiff must provide a copy of the signed agreement it seeks to enforce and/or a proper statement of account. Additionally, if Plaintiff alleges that the account was acquired by assignment, then Plaintiff shall provide the Court with documentation establishing proper standing to bring the action. In cases involving personal injury, plaintiff must provide the Court with a copy of all medical records and medical bills associated with the injury. Plaintiff is required to present testimony in support of claims for pain and suffering. A hearing date will be set for all default judgment motions. The Movant is required to send written notice of the date and time of the hearing at least fourteen (14) days prior to the hearing to the party against whom action is taken. Movant must also provide proof that the notification letter was sent. Pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. § 501 et. seq.), Plaintiff is required to provide evidence of the military service status of defendant(s)