Standard Pretrial Procedures: Paperwork and Deposition Management

As prior discussion suggests, there are two different, but overlap­ping, types of pretrial management, directed at distinct problems. What is termed “paperwork management” is directed at complex­ities caused by the multiplicity of parties and claims. The purpose is to minimize unnecessary clerical and judicial attention to repeti­tive paperwork by establishing standard pleadings and rulings where appropriate. Such management may indirectly facilitate dis­position of a case by easing the achievement of a state of readiness for trial or by creating some predictability about the trial process.

On the other hand, “disposition management” relates primarily to complexities caused by the total number of asbestos cases within the district, regardless of their complexity. This management is de­signed to bring cases to disposition by scheduling trials and, if nec­essary, presiding at settlement conferences, trials, or both. The effect on caseload should be direct. Both systems are necessary; co­ordination of the two needs is an ingredient of successful manage­ment of asbestos litigation. In both of these areas, this report builds on prior work.107