Standard Operating Procedures

Courtroom Procedures

  1. Counsel of record or self-represented/pro se parties shall be well-prepared and personally attend all court appearances unless express permission otherwise has been granted by the Court.  All persons, including witnesses, shall be prompt and professionally or appropriately attired for court. 
  2. There shall be appropriate civility and respect in the courtroom at all times.   Judge Trauger expects all attorneys to be civil and courteous to each other and to all parties and witnesses.   While in the courtroom, attorneys and parties should refer to each other, court personnel and/or anyone else present by their last name or title only (Mr. Jones, Ms. Smith, defense counsel, etc.).
  3. The Court welcomes submission of legal authority, either by memo or by copies of relevant cases, statutes, etc.  Kindly bring copies for Judge Trauger and his law clerk and provide an extra copy of any such submissions to opposing counsel and/or parties who are unrepresented.
  4. The Court encourages the parties to exchange and pre-mark exhibits prior to the start of a trial or hearing.  If you have not already done so, the Court suggests that counsel and parties arrive in court early to confer with one another regarding the exhibits.  It is the duty and responsibility of the litigants to bring sufficient copies of all exhibits to provide a copy to all parties, any witness who needs to refer to same during the presentation of the case, as well as a copy for the Court.
  5. The Court believes the parties should be able to stipulate to as many exhibits as possible in advance of trial; therefore, at the beginning of the hearing or trial, the parties shall submit a list of exhibits which are admitted by stipulation.  
  6. Counsel and all parties are expected to make a good faith effort to communicate with each other and discuss potential resolution or settlement terms prior to any hearing or trial.  If the parties believe a conference with Judge Trauger would facilitate such resolutions, they should advise the Judge’s staff in advance or the Court at the time the hearing or trial is called from the list by the Court.

Continuances

      Requests for continuances of matters on any Trial or Arbitration List are handled by the Court Administrator’s Office.  The procedures can be found on the Court Calendar page.

      Requests for continuances should first be made to opposing counsel (seeking an agreement). If no agreement is reached, opposing counsel and/or the opposing party should receive a copy of the continuance request with sufficient time to respond to same.

      Requests for continuances for matters specifically scheduled before Judge Trauger should be directed to Chambers by email and copied to all counsel as soon as possible.  No such requests will be considered unless in writing.   Counsel must have consent of all parties or good cause for any requests.  The position of all other counsel or unrepresented parties to the request shall be stated in the letter making the request and copied contemporaneously to all counsel or pro se parties. 

Courtesy Copies

      Only when pleadings or documents are filed within 24 hours prior to a conference, hearing or trial is it necessary for courtesy copies of said documents filed with the appropriate office to be given to the Court or sent to Chambers.  Counsel are expected to file documents in a timely fashion to ensure they will be in the court file when it is delivered to Judge Trauger.

Proposed Orders

      Should the Court request a proposed Order following a hearing or settlement conference in any type of matter, the proposed Order shall be submitted to Judge Trauger’s Chambers by email in Microsoft Word format by counsel for the parties as they shall determine or as the Court shall designate.  Proposed Orders shall first be copied to all other counsel or pro se parties.  Judge Trauger is willing to consider additional terms of any proposed Order provided counsel are in agreement that those terms will help clarify the obligations and responsibilities of the parties. 

Settlement Conferences

      Settlement conferences can be scheduled upon agreement of all the parties.  A letter requesting a conference should be submitted to Chambers and copied to all counsel.  All parties are to provide Chambers with a settlement conference memorandum within five days of the settlement conference.  The memorandum should not exceed six pages in length and shall include:

  1. A Brief Summary of the Case
  2. The Current Status of the Litigation
  3. Undisputed Facts
  4. Disputed Facts
  5. Unique Legal Issues
  6. Last Demand and Offer