Scheduling

Some courts incorporate a schedule into their pretrial orders. In the Northern District of Ohio, the court established a comprehensive schedule for all asbestos cases, including future filings. The schedule provides for a trial within 480 days of the filing of the complaint and a concentrated effort to settle the case at a settlement status conference to be held 120 days before trial and prior to some of the major discovery events.69 The District of Maryland also prescribes a detailed pretrial schedule for the ten months preĀ­ceding trial, setting specific deadlines for each form of discovery, for amendments of pleading, and for pretrial motions.70

The Western District of Pennsylvania imposes a similar schedule and includes provision for a final pretrial conference after the parties file a detailed pretrial stipulation specifying the evidence to be presented at trial, voir dire questions, and proposed jury instructions, A party that fails to comply runs the risk of sanctions.71 In a separate order, the court specified that it will apply the sanction of preclusion of evidence when a party fails to submit a timely or complete pretrial statement.72

  1. Memorandum Order, In re Asbestos Litig., Misc. No. 8482 (W.D. Pa. March 29,
    1984), citing In re Japanese Elec. Prods., 723 F.2d 238, 259 (3d Cir. 1983), for its explicit approval of a final pretrial order “with preclusive effect.”