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Jury trials have resumed in Cuyahoga County. If you receive a jury summons, please follow the instructions printed on it. For more information, click here.

 

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Common Pleas Court Judges

Judge Steven E. Gall


Courtroom: 23-C
Fax: (216) 348-4031
Bailiff:

Ronald O. Brown
(216) 443-8758

Staff Attorney:

Donna M. Thomas
(216) 443-8610

On Common Pleas Bench Since: December 2012
Admitted to Bar: 1991
Residence: Cuyahoga County
High School: Strongsville High School
College: Cleveland State University
Law School: Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Legal Experience:


Asst. Brunswick and Strongsville City Prosecutor, 1991-1987; Private practice of law, 1991-1999, Cuyahoga County Asst. Prosecuting Attorney, 1999-2012 (Major Trial Unit)

Litigation Preferences

General

OVID-19 Update:

 

Discovery Deadlines and Court conferences

 

In accordance with the Ohio Supreme Court's Administrative Actions issued on March 27, 2020, (The Order) (http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2020/2020-Ohio-1166.pdf) all time requirements are tolled.

 

In accord with the spirit of The Order, any case management and/or discovery deadlines set prior to March 27th will be tolled until the order expires.  This means that all pleadings, discovery deadlines, dispositive motions, motion responses, expert deadlines, etc. that are due between March 9, 2020 and the lifting of this order are tolled.

 

All deadlines will resume once the order is lifted in accordance with the date the original deadline was set to expire. For example, if an expert report deadline is due 30 days after the effective date of this order, the deadline for the expert report will expire 30 days after the tolling order is lifted.  Continuances of expert deadlines will be freely granted upon the lifting of this order.  Any party seeking additional time must file a motion outlining the need for additional time.  All motions shall be filed prior to the expiration of the tolled deadline.

 

Parties may continue to file motions with the Court while recognizing response deadlines are tolled by this Order. The Court may conduct a telephone conference with counsel on any motions if requested by all parties or deemed necessary by this Court. Telephone conferences requested by counsel will only take places so long as they do not violate the stay-at-home order issued by Governor Mike DeWine.

 

The Court encourages the continuation of settlement efforts of civil cases during the pendency of The Order.  The Court is available to conduct settlement conferences via Zoom at the request of the parties.  To request a Zoom conference with the Court, contact staff attorney Donna Thomas at 216-443-8610 or cpdmt@cuyahogacounty.us.

 

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The objective of the Court is to ensure that parties have timely access to the judicial system. The Court takes a "hands on" approach and will make itself available to the parties to discuss settlement at the earliest opportunity. The Court endeavors to resolve cases within one year of filing, absent extraordinary circumstances.

Pre-Trials

Case management conferences are scheduled automatically 45 days after the filing date. Parties may appear by phone to avoid unnecessary travel or expense. Parties represented by counsel are not required to be present. Mediation and arbitration will be used at the Court's discretion in cases or upon request.

Motion Practice

Hearings on Motions

The Court may hold hearings on motions upon request and at the Court's discretion.

Courtesy Copies

Courtesy copies shall be delivered to the Court for all motions over 25 pages.

Default Hearings

Upon filing of a motion for default judgment, the Court will schedule a default hearing. The movant must bring to the hearing the following: affidavit of damages, a prepared journal entry, and a copy of the letter sent regular and certified mail 7 days prior to the hearing date notifying all parties of the hearing and that failure to appear will result in judgment against them. The Court may require additional evidence/testimony that it deems necessary pursuant to Civ. R. 55.

Discovery

Discovery Schedule

The discovery schedule is set at the Case Management Conference (CMC) which is conducted by the Staff Attorney. The Court allows between 90 to 120 days for discovery depending on the complexity of the case. Any party who fails to participate in the CMC will be deemed to have accepted the scheduling order established by the Court. Extensions will be granted if timely and for good cause shown.

Discovery Disputes

The parties shall make all efforts to resolve discovery disputes prior to filing a motion to compel. If those attempts are unsuccessful, the parties may contact the Court prior to filing a Motion to Compel to help timely resolve any issues. If your discovery dispute is resolved while the underlying motion to compel remains pending, please notify the Staff Attorney or file a motion to withdraw immediately.

Settlement Conference

The Court will schedule a final pre-trial to discuss settlement. Additional settlement conferences may be scheduled at any time upon request.

All parties and chosen representatives must be present or, with permission of the Court, be available by telephone with full settlement authority. If the real party in interest is an insurance company, corporation, common carrier, or other artificial legal entity, then the chosen representative must have full authority to negotiate the claim to the full extent of plaintiff's demand. Plaintiff's demand must be submitted to counsel for defendant at least 14 days prior to the final pretrial conference. (See Local Rule 21).