DANIEL A. ATCHISON; PAUL GONZALES; BENNEY GONZALES; LAWRENCE GUERERRO; and JAMES SILVA, Plaintiffs,
BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY RAILROAD CO., Defendant.
TRIAL PREPARATION ORDER-CIVIL
MARCIA S. KRIEGER, District Judge.
This Order sets deadlines, imposes requirements that supplement the Scheduling Order and imposes trial preparation requirements.
A. Applicable Rules
This proceeding is subject to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, the Local Rules of Practice for the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the MSK Civ. Practice Standards. A copy of the Practice Standards is available from the Clerk's office or can be downloaded from the Court's website at http://www.cod.uscourts.gov/Home.aspx under Judicial Officers' Procedures. Parties who are not represented by counsel ( pro se ) are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with all applicable rules and provisions of this Order. References in this Order to "counsel" apply to parties appearing pro se.
If a party to this case is incarcerated, it is the responsibility of that party to provide a copy of this Order and all other orders issued in this case to his or her Case Manager. For purposes of attending a scheduled hearing by telephone, the Case Manager should contact the Courtroom Deputy Clerk, Patricia Glover at (303)335-2185 at least two business days prior to the hearing to make the necessary arrangements for the inmate to participate.
B. Dispositive and Rule 702 Motions
The deadline in the Scheduling Order for the filing of dispositive motions shall also be the deadline for parties to file motions challenging the foundational requirements of opinion testimony under Fed.R.Evid. 702. If the dispositive motion deadline is changed, the Rule 702 motion deadline automatically changes to match it.
The format for dispositive motions is set out in MSK Civ. Practice Standard V.H, found at http://www.cod.uscourts.gov/Home.aspx. The format for Rule 702 motions is also found at http://www.cod.uscourts.gov/Home.aspx. Failure to use the appropriate format may result in a delayed ruling on the motion. If determination of a Rule 702 motion is required for determination of a dispositive motion, please so state in the title of the Rule 702 motion.
Requests for modification of deadlines set by the Scheduling Order will be referred to the Magistrate Judge for resolution. However, any request to extend the dispositive motion deadline more than 30 days beyond the deadline originally set in the initial Scheduling Order must show exceptional circumstances warranting the extension.
If the dispositive motion deadline passes without dispositive motions being filed, the parties shall contact Chambers within 10 days of the dispositive motion deadline to request the setting of a Final Pretrial Conference. Failure to contact Chambers within this time may result in the case being dismissed for failure to prosecute.
C. Final Pretrial Conference and Trial Setting
The Court will not set a Final Pretrial Conference at this time. A Final Pretrial Conference will be scheduled once dispositive motions are determined, or upon the request of the parties should no dispositive motions be filed.
The Court will set a date for trial at the conclusion of the Final Pretrial Conference. It is the Court's intention that the trial date will be as soon as 30 days after the Final Pretrial Conference, or as quickly thereafter as the Court's calendar makes possible. The parties should be prepared to advise the Court as to the minimum number of days needed for trial.
Trial counsel shall appear at the Final Pretrial Conference and shall be prepared to address their own availability and the availability of necessary witnesses. If two or more counsel represent one party, please be prepared to proceed with one counsel if the other has a conflict, or to explain why the available counsel cannot proceed alone. All parties to the action shall be physically present at the Final Pretrial Conference; failure of a party to appear will result in a order that that party obtain a full, expedited transcript of the Conference at that party's expense. Where a party is an organization, the client representative who will appear at trial on behalf of that organization shall be present.
Jury trials usually begin on Monday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. and bench trials usually begin on Tuesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. With approximately six hours available per trial day, one week jury trials usually allow for 22 hours of in-court time, which includes presentation of evidence, opening and closing statements, and argument on evidentiary objections and trial motions. (This calculation excludes time for jury selection, charging conference and initial and concluding instructions for the jury.) One week bench trials usually allow for 24 hours for presentation of all evidence, opening and closing statements, objections, and arguments. Absent objections made at the Final Pre-Trial Conference, a chess clock will be used to divide trial time equally between Plaintiff(s) and Defendant(s). Parties can use their time as they choose, and are free to restructure time between themselves.
Any problems in the trial setting or special needs for witness scheduling should be addressed at the Final Pretrial Conference. Designated witnesses should be available during the entire trial period. Their unavailability may not constitute a basis for delay in or continuance of the trial. Counsel should always have a sufficient number of witnesses available to testify such that recesses or early adjournments of the trial day will not be necessary. If witnesses are not available, lost time may be counted against the party whose case is being presented.
At the time fixed for trial, all parties shall be present and ready to proceed. If any party is absent or unprepared to proceed, judgment may be entered forthwith in favor of the opposing party or the time of unavailability credited against the party's share of the trial time. If both parties are absent or unprepared, the case may be dismissed, and costs, fees, or sanctions may be imposed against either or both parties and/or their counsel.
D. Proposed Final Pretrial Order
Counsel shall meet and confer sufficiently in advance of the Final Pretrial Conference to jointly prepare a Proposed Final Pretrial Order. The parties shall file the Proposed Final Pretrial Order, proposed jury instructions, and ...