Common Pleas Court Judges
Judge Joseph D. Russo
Laura A. Miller
Christine M. Sweeney
Landskroner & Phillips, 1991; Law Offices of Joseph D. Russo Co., L.P.A., 1992 - 2001
Most case management conferences handled by telephone. Staff attorney and Judge read and review every file before it is placed on a particular track. Court operates on a four-track system, with the shortest track being 90 days and the longest being 1 year.
Judge always conducts pre-trials personally. "In-state" parties must be present at final pre-trial conference and must have full authority to settle. "Out-of-state" parties may participate by phone and also must have full authority to settle.
Parties have 7 days to file a responsive brief to all motions, except for summary judgment, which is governed by Local Rule 11. All motions are ruled upon within 7 days of responsive brief filing.
The Court has an "open" discovery policy, all material is to be provided unless it is privileged, or clearly outside the scope of discovery.
May be arranged by the parties through agreement and consultation as to date with the Judge's staff attorney.
Calendaring and Continuances
Cases are assigned to one of four tracks based on the subject matter and amount in controversy. These tracks are: 90 days, 6 months, 9 months and 1 year. Continuances of discovery cutoff dates are usually granted as long as the final pre-trial and trial dates remain unaffected.
Trial briefs, witness lists, exhibit lists and evidentiary motions are due 7 days before trial. Video deposition testimony containing objections is due 7 days before trial. A paper and electronic copy of jury instructions are due on the day of trial. All exhibits for each party should be marked and placed in a binder for use by the Court. Exhibits may be used in opening only if both parties agree. There is a 30 minute time limit on each party for voir dire. Jurors are permitted to take notes. Jurors may speak to attorneys after trial at their own discretion. Counsel is required to stand, wherever they want, when addressing the Court and witnesses.