Judicial Preferences


Judge Calvin L. Scott, Jr. Civil Case Management Preferences


Updated: September 1, 2017

For Attorneys & Legal Staff Only:

Lisa Emerson, Administrative Specialist
Chambers.
Phone: (302) 255-0677


Vene Thomas, Judicial Civil Case Manager
Prothonotary's Office
Phone: (302) 255-0706


Helene Episcopo, Law Clerk
Chambers
Phone: (302) 255-0643


Fax Numbers:

Chambers Fax: (302) 255-2274 *

Prothonotary Fax: (302) 255-2598 *

* Please advise the Administrative Specialist or Civil Case Manager by phone or email that a FAX transmission has been or is about to be sent to chambers or the prothonotary.

Only Counsel, not legal staff, may write directly to Judge Scott. All correspondence must be signed by an attorney in the law firm of the attorney of record.

Any letter to the Court requesting Court action of some kind (in instances where a motion is otherwise not appropriate) must state the position of all parties or otherwise represent that opposing counsel or self-represented party could not be reached.

Email should not be used with Judge Scott except when (a) Judge Scott has approved the use of or (b) exigent circumstances exist. However, this does not preclude administrative-type emails, particularly to Court staff.

Administrative emails are not docketed. Substantive emails are docketed; all parties must be copied, and must always include the civil action number and case caption.

Comments or questions from lawyers, paralegals and other legal staff about Judge Scott's preferences are welcome, and should be directed to Lisa Emerson or Vene Thomas.

A teleconference with the Court my be requested by contacting Judge Scott's Administrative Specialist. Counsel requesting the teleconference ordinarily will arrange to initiate the call.

Judge Scott makes every effort to be available by teleconference to resolve disputes that arise during depositions, or to address other matters requiring expedited consideration.

Related Cases:

Counsel should always identify any 'related' Superior Court cases on the Case Information Statement filed with the complaint or with the answer so that the new case is assigned to the same judge. If counsel belatedly realizes that the Case Information Statement(s) omitted reference to another pending related case and that the subsequent civil case was assigned to a different judge, please promptly notify the Judicial Case Manager for the judge assigned to the subsequently filed case.

Trial Scheduling Orders:

Judge Scott uses his standard Trial Scheduling Order (TSO) for most civil cases. The TSO sets forth firm deadlines. Failure to meet deadlines, without good cause, may result in the Court's refusal to allow extensions. TSO amendments must be made by (1) appropriate motion or (2) joint stipulation, and ordered by the Court. If a party seeks to extend discovery or expert deadlines, without affecting remaining scheduled dates, the motion or stipulation should so state.

If all Counsel thinks a case has a good chance of settling, and with agreement of all Counsel, the Court may 'doublebook' counsel for trial as long as all counsel understands the potential necessity to reschedule the latter case.

Appeals From Administrative Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Courts:

If there is an unusual delay in the preparation of the record, counsel for appellant(s) should write to the Court to advise of the problem. Judge Scott may take appropriate action to accelerate this process pursuant to Superior Court Appellate Administrative Order (March 21, 1995). Oral argument is generally NOT held in administrative appeals. If necessary Chambers will contact all parties to schedule a hearing date.

Formatting:

Contrary to Superior Court Civil Rule 107(b) all briefs and motions should have one-inch margins and be written in 14 pt. Times New Roman font and doulbe-spaced. Exhibits to briefs, courtesy copies of motions, or letters must be individually tabbed. No briefs, exhibits, or appendices may be clipped or fastened with paper clips, binder clips, ot metal three-ring fasteners, but must be stapled or bound. Judge Scott strongly prefers bindings that will permit the brief to lay flat when opened. Case citations shall use Westlaw format for unreported decisions where possible; the Superior Court doe not presently have ready capability to utilize Lexis. Exhibits and unreported cases not cited in Westlaw should be physically attached to the briefs and motions unless impractical because of their volume, in which case a separate compendium will be appropriate. When responding to a motion, avoid using terms and phrases typically used in answers to complaints (Admitted, Denied as Stated, etc.) in numbered paragraphs corresponding to the numbered paragraphs in the motion. Instead each argument in the motion should be addressed substantively. Please do not attach documents that have previously been docketed, such as complaint.

Routine Motions:

Routine Motions are defined in Paragraph IV.B.3.a. of the NCC Plan Judge Scott hears routine motions every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. The routine motions calendar is designed to resolve each motion in no more than 15 minutes. Counsel may contact Judge Scott's Case Manager if the complexity of the motion requires a longer hearing. He may decide to hear a routine motion at a different time, and Counsel will be advised. Routine Motio must be filed ten (10) business days prior (excluding weekends and holidays) to the notice date. Responses are due the Wednesday prior to the presentation date. If no response is timely filed, the Court may deem the motion unopposed ad grant the motion in advance, without a hearing.

A motion to continue a trial date shall be scheduled as a routine motion.

If counsel does not oppose a routine motion, non-opposing counsel should so notify the Court by letter. If possible, an unopposed motion should represent that non-opposition in the motion itself (if such non-opposition is known to the movant) in which event no further notification is necessary. ***COMISSION, PRO HAR (etc)***

If an Order is entered before the hearing, the Court will promptly notify the attorney for the movant.

Judge Scott will often refer substantive non-routine discovery motions to a Commissioner. Depending on that Commissioner's availability, the discovery motion may be heard at 9:00 a.m. on a Tuesday; otherwise, the Commissioner will schedule a hearing date. Discovery motions are usually referred to a Commissioner immediately before the scheduled routine motion hearing date, and counsel will be so advised.

Dispositive Motions:

Unless otherwise indicated all dispositive motions will be reviewed on the papers. Counsel should notice ALL dispositive motions are to be presented at the "Convenience of the Court". Once the motion is reviewed and accepted, a Notice will be issued with a Reponse deadline. The original motion and response should be e-file not exceeding four (4) pages. A page limi extension must have an approval of the Court. If no response is timely filed, the Court may deem the motion unopposed and grant the motion. Oral argument on issue-dispositive motions is not necessary UNLESS contacted by Chambers.

Case citations shall use Weslaw format for unreported decisions where possible. The Superior Court presently does not have ready capability to utilize Lexis.

Judge Scott neither needs not requires exhibits such as cases that are available on Weslaw and/or documents that have beenp previously accepted on the record in any specific case.

Pretrial Stipulations:

Counsel is expected to utilize Superior Court Civil Form 46 for Pretrial Stipulations All legal or evidentiary issues worthy of pretrial identification and focus should be identified in the stipulation with brief citation(s) of legal authorities relied upon. Legal issues raised in the pretrial stipulation will be resolved at the Pretrial Conference if possible.

Pretrial Conferences:

Ordinarily, proposed jury instructions must be filed the Wednesday before trial. In complex cases, the Court may require that instructions be filed with the Pretrial Stipulation and at least discussed at the Pretrial Conference. This can help to focus the parties and the Court on the way legal issues will be formulated at trial.

Trial counsel, including pro hac vice counsel, must attend the Pretrial Conference. For good cause, such as distance and/or the nature of the case, pro hac vice counsel may be permitted to participate by phone.

Motions In Limine:

Any particularly significant issue, including Daubert issues, should be raised by motion in limine. Motions in limine are usually filed and responded to before the Pretrial Conference.

There is no bright line test for whether a legal or evidentiary issue should be (1) raised by a motion in limine, (2) simply identified in a Pretrial Stipulation, or (3) not mentioned at all (if truly minor). If the issue is particularly significant and should be resolved at the Pretrial Conference, a motion in limine should be filed.

The Court will usually rule on all motions in limine at the Pretrial Conference, unless resolution at trial or at some later time, is more appropriate. Daubert-type motions will presumptively be decided on a paper record.

Basic Precepts:

Local counsel is expected to attend trial, but may be excused for good cause. However, if circumstances develop at trial, Judge Scott may require local counsel to attend, and/or actively participate, in the reminder of the trial.

As trial issues arise, counsel should confer with opposing counsel before bringing the issue to the Court's attention to avoid unnecessary surprise to any other party and to seek resolution of the issue without need of Court involvement.

Trial days customarily begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m., with an hour for lunch (in addition to other shorter recesses).

Counsel desiring a courtroom with specific technology support should contact the Bailiffs' Office (302) 255-0888 several days before the trial.

Counsel intending to use demonstrative evidence during opening statements should confer with opposing counsel several days before the trial and seek to resolve any issues regarding such evidence.

Court submission that are likely to be revised by the Court, i.e., proposed jury instructions and voir dire questions, should be submitted in Word.

At Trial:

  1. There should be no speaking objections.
  2. Objections shall be heard at side bars.
  3. Counsel shall allow the witness to finish their answer before asking a new question.
  4. Counsel shall not begin questions with "Do you agree with me."
  5. Exhibits going to to the jury should normally be 81/2 x 11.