Frequently Judge Simon decides that it is in the best interest of the parties to conduct certain hearings via telephonic conference call. This is done as a convenience to the parties to hold down costs.
As a courtesy, the court will initiate the telephone conference by placing calls to the first attorney listed for each party on the docket at the phone number shown there. If different or additional attorneys wish to be included in the telephone conference or a different telephone number should be used, counsel must contact Noel Collins at (219) 852-6724 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least one working day prior to the time the conference is to occur.
Failure to ensure that the court has appropriate contact information may result in the court holding the hearing in the absence of the party that failed to comply. In addition, any party that does not comply with these requirements may be required to appear for all future hearings for the matter in person.
An individual must identify himself or herself prior to speaking during the conference. These conferences are typically recorded by a court reporter and identification of the speaker is necessary in order to accurately record the conference. Even if a speaker has previously identified himself or herself on the call, the speaker is advised to continue to do so each time he or she speaks. A recurring problem during telephonic hearings is lawyers interrupting one another. This makes an accurate record nearly impossible.
Counsel and the parties are to treat these conferences with the same seriousness as in-court appearances. The court reminds counsel that telephonic status conferences are an optional courtesy extended to the parties and to counsel. Failure to abide by these rules will result in Judge Simon requiring in-person attendance for all subsequent conferences.