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Judge Collins: Rule 16 Preliminary Pretrial Conference (PPTC)

All new cases that are expected to proceed to trial will have a preliminary pretrial conference (PPTC) scheduled approximately 30-60 days following the last appearance for a party. Counsel are to read and follow the directives contained in the Notice of Preliminary Pretrial Conference. A Report of the Parties Planning Meeting is to be filed no later than 5 business days prior to the PPTC.

The form of the Report of the Parties Planning Meeting is different depending on the presiding judge to whom it is assigned.

Unless their attendance is excused, parties and their attorneys are to be in attendance in cases assigned to Judge William C. Lee. In cases assigned to Judge Holly A. Brady or Judge Damon R. Leichty, the PPTC will be by telephone with counsel only. The Court will initiate the call using telephone numbers reflected on the docket. Cell phones are no longer accepted.

If a case becomes fully consented to the Magistrate Judge after the Notice of Preliminary Pretrial Conference is issued, counsel and the parties are to abide by its provisions unless a further order relieves them of their responsibilites.

At the PPTC, counsel should be prepared to inform the Court of the nature of the case, report on the possibility of settlement, and discuss the nature and length of discovery necessary to prepare the case for trial. In cases in which diversity of citizenship is alleged as the basis for subject matter jurisdiction, the parties should be prepared to discuss the citizenship of the parties and the amount in controversy.

At the conference, deadlines (those submitted by the parties in their Report) are modified or approved by the Court. The deadlines will not be changed without good cause shown.