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Chief Judge Philip P. Simon - Final Pre-Trial Conference
Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
5400 Federal Plaza
Suite 4400
Hammond, IN 46320
(219) 852-6740

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where should parties send proposed orders?
A: E-mail them in Word Perfect or Microsoft Word format to Judge Simon's chambers mailbox.

Q: What time does court start and end during a trial?
A: During trial, court generally starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends by 5:00 p.m., but will vary depending on the circumstances of the trial. There is typically a short morning break, a lunch break, and a short afternoon break at some point each day of the trial.

Q: What courtroom is Judge Simon in?
A: Courtroom 4, located on the 4th Floor of the Hammond courthouse.

Q: Who should be present at a settlement conference?
A: Parties with ultimate settlement authority must be personally present at the settlement conference, unless otherwise ordered by the court. For additional important information, see the instructions under the Settlement Conference link on Judge Simon’s web page.

Q: What should be in the pretrial order?
A: The contents of the final pretrial order should conform to the “Order for Pretrial Conference, Notice of Trial Setting and Order Controlling the Case” previously issued in the case, which typically requires: 1) a jurisdictional statement of the case; 2) a brief description of the claims and counterclaims to be tried; 3) the parties’ contentions; 4) stipulations of fact; and 5) an exhibit list and witness list.

Q: Does Judge Simon have a motion call day?
A: No, there is no specific motion call day. If a party wants oral argument, it should be requested via a motion.

Q: How should parties mark exhibits?
A: Exhibits should be pre-marked. The plaintiff should use numbers and the defendant should use letters in marking exhibits.

Q: Can I get a demonstration of the technology available in the courtroom?
A: Yes. This is strongly encouraged. When one side of the case effectively uses the courtroom technology and the other side does not, the party not using the technology may be at a strategic disadvantage. Please contact the courtroom deputy Noel at 219-852-6724 to set up an appointment. It will not be possible to schedule an appointment on jury selection day.

Q: Does Judge Simon have a set of standing orders?
A: No.

Q: Do counsel have to use CM/ECF (electronic filing)?
A: Yes, local rule requires counsel to use CM/ECF. Please contact the clerk’s office at 219- 852-6500 if you have further questions.

Q: What happens at Judge Simon’s pretrial conferences?
A: The final pretrial conference, which occurs about one month before trial, is used to assign dates for the preparation of trial materials. Judge Simon also usually conducts a settlement conference afterwards. The separate trial management conference generally occurs several days before trial. The purpose of the trial management conference is to resolve any last minute issues, rule on pending motions, and answer any questions the parties have about trial procedures. This enables the proceedings to start promptly on the first day of trial.

Q: What does the magistrate judge handle?
A: The magistrate judge assigned to each case handles all non-dispositive motions up to the time the magistrate judge issues a “bright-line” notice at the conclusion of discovery, and all motions to continue trials. After the “bright-line” notice is issued, the case is forwarded to Judge Simon for disposition whether by trial or via dispositive motion.

Q: What do the initials after my case number mean?
A: The initials after the case number refer to the judge originally assigned to the case. Thus, cases in front of Judge Simon usually have “PS” or “PPS” after the number.

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