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Judge Gotsch: Preliminary Pretrial Conference (Rule 16 Scheduling Conference)

All new cases that are expected to proceed to trial will have a preliminary pretrial conference scheduled approximately 30-60 days following the last appearance for a party. Counsel are to read and follow the directives contained in the Order of Preliminary Pretrial Conference. A Report of the Parties Planning Meeting is to be submitted by the date indicated in the preliminary pretrial conference order. Counsel are required to personally attend the Rule 16(b) conference. However, counsel from counties other than St. Joseph or Elkhart may appear telephonically if a motion requesting to appear telephonically is filed and granted.

At the Rule 16(b) conference, counsel should be prepared to inform the Court of the nature of the case, including the parties contentions, claims and defenses, report on the possibility of settlement and discuss the nature and length of discovery necessary to prepare the case for trial. At the conference, deadlines (those submitted by the parties in their Report) may be modified or approved by the Court.

At the conclusion of the Rule 16(b) conference, the Court will issue a Scheduling Order and Memorandum of Status Conference. Thereafter, the deadlines and limitations established in the order will not be changed without good cause shown.