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Judge Eileen T. Gallagher

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Courtroom:
20-B
Fax:
(216) 348-4034
Bailiff:
John Burens
(216) 443-8727
Magistrate:
Stephen M Bucha III
(216) 443-8505
Scheduler:
Agnes Cerer
(216) 443-4014
Staff Attorney:
Christopher Kelley
(216) 443-8606
On Common Pleas
Bench Since:
01/12/2005
Admitted to Bar:
1996
Born:
Lakewood, Ohio
Residence:
Not Available at this time.
High School:
St. Augustine High School, Lakewood, Ohio
College:
St. Vincent Charity Hospital School of Nursing -- Nursing Diploma; Ursuline College -- BS in Nursing
Law School:
Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
Legal Experience:
Private Practice; Staff Attorney for the Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas; Magistrate in the Foreclosure Department for the Cuyahoga County Couty of Common Pleas; Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor
LITIGATION PREFERENCES

General:Counsel should be prepared to discuss settlement at the earliest opportunity. Mediation and arbitration will be used in cases where appropriate.

Pre-Trials: Case Management Conferences are conducted via telephone. Plaintiff's counsel is to initiate the call with all other counsel present to the Court to 216-443-5406. Staff Attorney will handle CMC. Judge will handle CMC upon request of the parties, or CMC can be conducted in person at the request of the parties. Such requests must be communicated to the Court one week prior to the scheduled CMC. 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 or reschedule. Persons with settlement authority are to be present at the final pre-trial. Requests for permission to attend the final pre-trial by telephone must be made by motion, filed seven days in advance. Deadlines, merits, procedural issues, and settlement will be discussed during pre trials.

Default Hearings: Plaintiff's attorney to submit the following at the default hearing:

PLAINTIFF is to provide notice to the defendant of the hearing date and time via certified and regular mail. Plaintiff is to provide proof of said notice via a certified mail receipt plus an affidavit of service of said notice through regular mail.

Plaintiff must also provide the following:

  1. An affidavit of damages signed by the Plaintiff, evidence of damages in the principal amount to support the affidavit of damages, and a proposed judgment entry. In cases involving personal injury, Plaintiff must appear in person and 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.
  2. For account cases: plaintiff must prove standing by providing authenticated copies of all assignments of the account(s), including the date of the assignment, plus proof of the amount of principal due and owing at the time the debt was charged off by the original creditor. Blanket assignments that contain no reference to the debtor’s name and/or account(s) will not be considered. Without these items of proof, default judgment will not be granted and the case will be dismissed for want of prosecution pursuant to Civ. R. 41 (B).
  3. All affidavits require the affiant have actual personal knowledge of the account and that s/he has personally reviewed the documents relied on in support of said affidavit.

Failure of Plaintiff to follow all requirements of this order will result in the matter being dismissed for failure to prosecute.

Evidence of damages such as bills or account statements must be included in the file before default judgment can be rendered.

Motion Practice: Parties shall initiate a telephone conference with the Court before filing any discovery motion, i.e., motion to compel, motion for protective order, motion to quash, etc.

Discovery: Discovery schedule is set at the Case Management Conference (CMC).

DISCOVERY DISPUTES: Parties are expected to make all reasonable efforts to settle discovery disputes among themselves. Parties are required to initiate a telephone conference with the court before filing any motion to compel discovery. Motions to compel that have been filed without leave of court will be summarily denied. Court requires strict compliance with Civ.R. 37(E). Scheduling conflicts shall be brought to the attention of the court's staff attorney immediately upon discovery of same.

EXTENSION OF DISCOVERY DEADLINE: Parties may, by mutual agreement, extend the deadline for completing discovery; provided, any such extension shall not, under any circumstances, alter any other court-scheduled events, deadlines, or mediation.

Settlement Conference: Will be scheduled upon request. Lead counsel, parties, and individuals with full settlement authority are required to be present. Judge takes an active role in settlement discussions.

Calendaring and Continuances: Continuances should be requested by written motion. Extensions of discovery without Court consent allowed only as long as both sides are in agreement and extension does not affect the final pre trial or trial date. Last minute continuances will not be granted.

Trials: 

TRIAL BRIEF: All parties are required to serve and file a trial brief which shall contain a succinct statement of their claims (as presented in the pleadings); a brief statement of the essential and material facts; the legal issues involved; the type and amount of damages they are seeking; and an estimate of how long it will take to put on their case in chief.

WITNESS & EXHIBIT LISTS: On or before the date of the final pretrial, the parties shall exchange, serve and file witness lists which shall include the witnesses' names and a very brief statement outlining the substance of each witness' expected testimony. The parties shall exchange/serve and file a list of trial exhibits. Trial exhibits shall be pre-marked with exhibit stickers and exchanged. Plaintiffs shall mark their exhibits using numbers; defendants shall mark their exhibits using letters. The parties are required to provide the court with a file-stamped copy of all of the above items.

STIPULATED STATEMENT OF THE CASE: Parties shall prepare a stipulated statement of the case for the court to read to the jury during its preliminary charge.

JURY INSTRUCTIONS, INTERROGATORIES, AND VERDICT FORMS - GENERAL REQUIREMENTS: Counsel shall provide jury instructions which conform to OJI or cite to published Ohio cases. Counsel shall provide jury instructions that are relevant to the specific issues to be presented at trial. All instructions should be short, concise, understandable, and neutral statements of law. The court will not consider proposed jury instructions that are deemed argumentative or which otherwise do not conform to the above requirements.

EXCHANGE OF JURY INSTRUCTIONS, INTERROGATORIES, AND VERDICT FORMS BEFORE TRIAL: The parties must serve their proposed jury instructions, interrogatories, and verdict forms on each other at least fourteen (14) days before trial. The parties should then confer in order to agree on a single set of instructions to the extent possible. The joint proposed instructions (along with the proposed instructions upon which the parties have been unable to agree), interrogatories, and verdict forms must be filed with the court at least five (5) business days before trial.

OBJECTIONS TO PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTIONS: Each party should file its objections, if any, to jury instructions, interrogatories, and verdict forms proposed by any other party no later than two (2) business days before trial. Any such objections must recite the proposed instruction in its entirety and specifically highlight the objectionable language contained therein. The objection should contain both a concise argument why the proposed language is improper and citation to relevant legal authority. Where applicable, the objecting party must submit an alternative instruction covering the pertinent subject matter or principle of law. Any party may, if it chooses, submit a brief written reply in support of its proposed instructions on the day of trial.

SUBMISSION OF PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTIONS, INTERROGATORIES, AND VERDICT FORMS TO COURT: In addition to hard copies, proposed jury instructions, including the stipulated statement of the case, jury interrogatories, and verdict forms are to be provided to the court in MS Word or WordPerfect format either on a CD-ROM.

VOIR DIRE: The Court will conduct initial voir dire of the panel and of individual panel members. The Court may thereafter allow one counsel for each party to question briefly individual panel members. The Court will discontinue questioning by counsel if questioning seeks to instruct the jury on the law or accomplish anything other than to elicit information regarding the panel member’s background, biases, or suitability for service.

Jurors will be allowed to take notes during the trial phase.

DEPOSITION TESTIMONY (VIDEOTAPE AND WRITTEN): Whenever depositions (videotape and written) are intended to be used as evidence at trial, counsel proposing to use such deposition shall notify opposing counsel at least seven (7) days before the final pretrial. Any objections to portions of the deposition must be filed in writing with the Court at least three (3) days prior to the final pretrial. The list of objections should provide the Court with the page and line number, along with the basis for the objection. The Court must be provided with a complete written transcript of videotape depositions.

CONTINUANCES: The Court requires a motion, or joint motion, filed no later than fourteen (14) days before trial to continue any trial date.

PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW IN NON-JURY TRIALS: In all non-jury cases, counsel for each of the parties shall prepare proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, which shall be filed with the Court and served upon opposing counsel not later than seven (7) days before the date set for trial. Plaintiff’s Conclusions of Law shall include a statement of the applicable statute conferring jurisdiction upon the Court.

SETTLEMENT: The parties are requested to notify the Court at the earliest possible time if a settlement is reached in the case. Notification must be to a member of the Court’s staff. The duty to inform the Court of settlement shall be borne equally by all counsel.

TRIAL CONDUCT: To prevent unnecessary delay and to ensure all counsel are able to fully participate in all stages of the trial, counsel are to remain available and in the proximity of the Courtroom during jury deliberations. If counsel needs to leave the immediate area, they must notify the Court’s Bailiff as to where they can be located.

Judge's Recent Opinions

Organized in 1807, Cuyahoga County, is the most populous county in Ohio. As of the 2010 census its population was 1,280,122.

Cuyahoga County
Court of Common Pleas
1200 Ontario St.
Cleveland, Ohio 44113-1678

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