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Judge DeGuilio: Trial Procedures

Counsel do not need to ask permission to approach the witness. Counsel need not use the podium. The court expects counsel to stand, if they are able, when questioning witnesses and when addressing the court.

All exhibits are to be marked before trial, and copies are to be furnished to opposing counsel and the court with an exhibit list. Plaintiffs should mark their exhibits by number and defendants should mark theirs by letter.

Any proposed jury instructions (identifying the source and/or supporting authority for each proposed instruction) must be filed at least 21 days before the final pretrial conference. Proposed jury instructions shall be filed electronically and additionally shall be submitted as an e-mail attachment in Word Perfect or Microsoft Word format to Counsel should confer about the instructions before that deadline, because discussion may allow all counsel to prepare fewer proposed instructions, saving attorney time, client expense, and court time. As a general practice, the Court gives Proposed Seventh Circuit Civil Jury Instructions 1.01, 1.04, 1.06-1.08, 1.11-1.13, 1.16-1.18, 1.27, and 1.32-1.34 in every civil case. The parties, however, are responsible for providing the Court with all substantive instructions regarding the claims and defenses in the case. The Seventh Circuit Civil Jury Instructions are available on line at Any written objections to jury instructions proposed by other parties must be filed at least 14 days before the final pretrial conference. To preserve any claim of error under Rule 51 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court will hold a jury instructions settlement conference on the record, and will rule on the parties' objections to the Court's proposed instructions and verdict form reasonably near the close of the evidence and before the jury retires to deliberate.

If a civil case has been settled, chambers must be notified promptly at (574) 246-8171. Jury costs may be assessed if the court is not notified of a settlement before the first day of trial. Upon a report of settlement of a civil case, the Court generally enters an order denying all motions as moot and gives the parties 30 days within which to file any necessary dismissal papers.