Common Pleas Court Judges
Judge Shannon M. Gallagher
Lisa M. Schill
Kimberly N. Davenport
Judicial Attorney, State Court of Appeals, Eighth Appellate District, 2005-2007, 2011-2014; Labor Relations Advisor/Director of Legal and Government Affairs, 2008-2011; Civil Staff Attorney, 2004.
Policies Related to COVID-19
Pursuant to the Ohio Supreme Court’s 03/27/2020 Administrative Actions Order, all time requirements for civil case filings have been suspended and tolled as of 03/09/2020. (2020-Ohio-1166, https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2020/2020-Ohio-1166.pdf).
Tolling serves to effectively freeze time from the date the tolling begins, which is March 9, 2020, until the expiration of the order. For example, if a deadline were set to expire on March 19, 2020 (10 days after the effective date of the order), the deadline will now expire10 days after this tolling order is lifted.
Requests for Continuances: Consistent with The Supreme Court of Ohio’s Order, the Court will grant reasonable extensions of the case management schedule. If you feel a modification of any part of the case management order is necessary, please file a motion to extend the case schedule or a specific deadline. The Court requires joint or unopposed motions with proposed dates included.
Motion Practice: The Court will continue ruling on motions that are fully briefed. However, the Court will not rule on any unopposed motions, unless the motion is otherwise designated as unopposed, until after both the tolling period and the opposing party’s response time have expired.
Pleadings: Any Answer or responsive pleading that was/is due after 03/09/2020 through the duration of the Order is tolled. If a Plaintiff proceeds forward in filing a Motion for Default Judgment in a case in which an Answer or responsive pleading was due prior to 03/09/2020, the Court shall hold its ruling in abeyance and will not schedule the matter for a hearing until the tolling period and the opposing party’s response time have expired.
Settlement: The Court encourages the continuation of settlement efforts of civil cases during the pendency of the Order.
All counsel and parties should consider their own welfare, that of their staff, and that of the general public as they litigate.
Any party may address questions about a civil matter to Judge Gallagher’s Staff Attorney Kimberly Davenport by email at email@example.com, with all opposing counsel and/or pro se parties copied on the email.
Case Management Conferences (CMCs) are held approximately 90 days from filing. CMCs are conducted telephonically unless the parties request otherwise. In person conferences with the Court may be scheduled in lieu of the telephonic CMC upon written request at least ten days prior to the scheduled CMC. Prior to the CMC, counsel for plaintiff(s) shall confer with all opposing counsel and unrepresented parties to organize the conference call to the Court. Plaintiff's counsel is to initiate the call with all other counsel present to the Staff Attorney at 216-443-8874. Counsel shall promptly call the court at the appointed time, with all parties on the line.
At the case management conference, the parties should have their calendars present and be prepared to enter into a case management order regarding time frames for discovery, expert reports, dispositive motions, etc. All parties to a case are provided with final pre-trial and trial dates at the initial case management conference. Parties shall expect that, absent a conflict or a pre-trial settlement, trial will go forward on the trial date as scheduled. Parties shall contact the Court during the weeks preceding the final pre-trial and trial to keep the court apprised of potential conflicts or settlements.
The parties should not wait for the CMC before beginning to conduct discovery.
Any party who fails to participate in the CMC will be deemed to have accepted the scheduling order established by the Court.
Counsel only need to appear by telephone or in person, as set by the Court.
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. Proposed orders may also be submitted to the Court through the Clerk of Court's electronic filing system.
Upon the filing of a motion for default judgment, the Court will set a default hearing date. Default hearings are held in Courtroom 17A. Parties are required to be present. Before the Court will consider awarding damages pursuant to a Motion for Default Judgment, Plaintiff must provide an affidavit with documentation of expenses/losses incurred as a result of the Defendant’s conduct. The Plaintiff is required to send written notice of the date and time of the hearing to the party against whom action is taken and shall provide the Court with proof that the notification letter was sent by virtue of a certified mail receipt and an affidavit of service via ordinary mail, an affidavit that a search has been conducted and that defendant is not a current member of the military, and a proposed journal entry.
The Court intends to provide each litigant with ample time to engage in full and meaningful discovery. 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.
Parties are expected to make all reasonable efforts to settle discovery disputes among themselves. The Court prefers to deal with discovery disputes as soon as possible after attorneys have exhausted all efforts to resolve matters on their own. Parties are required to contact the Staff Attorney and initiate a telephone conference with all other parties prior to filing any discovery motions (motion to compel, motion to quash, motion for protective order, etc.) Parties will be provided a full opportunity to make a record of any perceived discovery violations.
All parties with settlement authority shall be present at both settlement conference and final pretrial. All parties with authority are to be present with the exception of out-of-town parties who may be excused only with leave of court upon motion filed at least fourteen (14) days prior to the settlement conference or final pretrial. All out of town parties who have been excused from making an in person appearance shall be available by telephone during the scheduled settlement conference or final pretrial.
Counsel and unrepresented parties are required to comply with Loc.R. 21, Parts II and III(E), which includes submitting a settlement/mediation or pretrial statement at least one week prior to the scheduled settlement conference.
All parties and chosen representatives must be present with full, final, and immediate settlement authority. If the real party in interest is an insurance company, corporation, common carrier, or other artificial entity, then the chosen representative must be the person with full, final, and immediate authority to negotiate and enter into a binding settlement agreement as to all claims. A governmental entity shall send a representative authorized to act on its behalf.
"Floaters" are not appropriate representatives for purposes of settlement conferences and final pretrials. Failure to bring a representative with full, final, and immediate settlement authority shall constitute a violation of this standing order and will result in sanctions including, but not limited to, an award of costs and attorney fees incurred by the other parties in connection with the conference, as well as other appropriate sanctions against the noncomplying party and/or counsel. In addition, the court will schedule another pretrial/hearing which said representative shall be required to attend personally and show cause why s/he should not be held in contempt of court.
Calendaring and Continuances
All requests for continuances must be made via motion.
Consistent with Local Rule 17, continuances of trial may be granted for good cause shown. Motions to continue trial must be in writing, state the reason for the request, and be endorsed in writing by the parties as well as counsel. Agreed motions, signed by all parties and counsel, will be granted absent unusual circumstances or undue delays.
Generally begin at 10:00 am. All exhibits should be marked prior to trial.
No later than one week prior to trial parties should file, serve on opposing counsel and provide the Court with a copy of trial briefs, witness lists, exhibit lists, a list of stipulations to be presented, all expert reports, deposition transcripts of expert witnesses and a list of all objections to videotape and deposition testimony with a copy of the applicable transcript and videotape.
No later than one week prior to trial the parties shall jointly file agreed-upon, case specific jury instructions. Parties are to email a word document of the joint proposed jury instructions to the Staff Attorney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any motions in limine shall be filed no later than ten days prior to trial. Pursuant to Loc.R.11(C), all responses are due seven thereafter, or three days prior to trial.
In all civil cases were a jury demand is not made, 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 no later than one week prior to the scheduled bench trial.
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