S.L.R. 6.012 provides that the Court shall hold a mandatory settlement conference upon the request of one party. However, pursuant to rule, scheduling of settlement conferences is subject to judicial availability and settlement conferences should not be scheduled so as to delay a trial.
The following procedure has been adopted to assist the Court in allocating judicial time for settlement conferences.
Any request for a judicial settlement conference should be made by written motion supported by an affidavit containing the following information:
- The date of filing of the case and, in civil and domestic relations cases, the date each defendant or respondent was served;
- In criminal cases, defendant’s release status and, if defendant is in custody, whether defendant has waived his or her right to trial within sixty days;
- All future court dates, including the trial date, if set;
- Anticipated length of trial;
- Prior trial dates’
- Status of the pleadings, i.e. whether all pleadings have been filed and the case is at issue;
- Status of discovery and whether the discovery process has been completed;
- Whether motions must be heard prior to the settlement conference and whether such motions have been filed;
- A detailed description of the efforts the parties have made to date to settle the case without the assistance of the Court (do not disclose any details regarding offers of settlement);
- A description of all unsettled matters in the case;
- The position of all parties and counsel regarding the motion for a judicial settlement conference;
- Whether non-judicial settlement options are available and, if so, why such non-judicial options are not being used; and
- Reasons that demonstrate a particular need for a judicial settlement conference.
The decision on the motion for judicial settlement conference will be made by the assigned trial judge. No case will be scheduled for a judicial settlement conference unless the assigned trial judge has ordered that the case be so scheduled. The Court will prepare an appropriate order. Click to view a form of Settlement Conference Order.