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Trial Preparation Checklist

Trial Preparation Checklist

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Published by Sami Hartsfield
Kudos to my esteemed colleague Linda Whipple, who isn't above sharing her vast knowledge in the field. Wish all coworkers were so generous and team-oriented!
Kudos to my esteemed colleague Linda Whipple, who isn't above sharing her vast knowledge in the field. Wish all coworkers were so generous and team-oriented!

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Sami Hartsfield on May 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/13/2013

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TRIAL PREPARATION CHECKLIST45 Days Prior to Mediation
 
(Mediation is usually scheduled 60 days prior to trial)
  ___ Check to make sure that all medical bills have been obtained and a spreadsheet compiledto show the total amount of the bills. ____ Check for any subrogation liens from collateral sources, i.e., health insurance payments,worker
=
s compensation benefits, Medicaid, Medicare, ERISA. ____ Review discovery requests for any unanswered interrogatories, or outstanding requestsfor production, and whether or not all requests for copies have been complied with. Sendfollow-up letters to opposing counsel. ____ Propound any supplemental interrogatories or requests for production necessaryfollowing depositions of parties, fact witnesses, etc. (Rule. 1.340) ____ Schedule any examination of the client with any experts, i.e., physicians, rehabilitationspecialists, economists, etc. ____ Prepare a
A
Day in the Life
@
videotape of the client, utilizing testimony from
A
before andafter
@
witnesses. ____ Summarize depositions of fact witnesses - Use page/line format. ____ Begin scanning to CD-ROM/database key documents,
A
hot
@
documents, photographs,etc. (This should be a ongoing process from this point to trial). ____ Prepare PowerPoint for use at mediation. (This includes any photographs of the accidentscene, witness statements, treating physician
=
s prognosis, etc.) ____ Fax letter to all defense counsel requesting the names, titles, and companies of anyperson attending the mediation. Determine if any claims adjuster not in attendance, whowill attend by telephone, is the person with the highest authority to settle for his insured.
60 Days Prior to Pre-Trial Conference
 
(Pretrial Conference is usually held 10 days to 2 weeks prior to the trial)
 ____ Serve any Proposals for Settlement on opposing counsel
(do not file original with the Court) 
.
 ____ Set up an Action List for the trial team with responsibilities for certain tasks listed and datesfor completion.
 
 ____ Plaintiff to furnish Expert Witness Disclosure and file original with Courta. Name and address of each expertb. Areas of expertise as to each expertc. Subject matter of the expected testimony of the expertd. Substance of the facts and opinions about which witness is expected to testifye. Summary of the grounds on which each of the opinions of the witness will bebased.f. Copy of Curriculum Vitae for each expert to be attached to disclosure.
 
 ____ 
Confirm with experts their availability for attendance at trial 
!
  ____ Immediately obtain at least 4 dates that each of your expert witnesses can be available fordeposition. ____ Send letter to opposing counsel advising of dates experts available for deposition.
Do not wait for opposing counsel to contact you!!! 
  ____ Propound Requests for Admissions as to the truth of any fact or the genuineness of anydocuments - this narrows issues for the trial. (Rule 1.370) ____ Draft motions to compel answers to interrogatories or responses to requests forproduction (if necessary) and set for hearing. ____ Review pleadings for any suitable dispositive motions, i.e., motion for summary judgmentas to liability (Rule 1.510) ____ Schedule any remaining depositions of fact witnesses, including whether or not tovideotape testimony for use at trial. ____ Calendar 45 days from pre-trial for disclosure of defense experts. ____ 
As soon as defense expert disclosure is received 
, contact opposing counsel to beginscheduling depositions. (Make sure CV
=
s are attached for each expert). ____ Begin diligent search for background information on each defense expert - compile awitness notebook for each. Look for articles previously written, books published, priordeposition and/or trial testimony.
30 Days Prior to Pre-Trial Conference
  ____ Set up witness folders (one for each fact witness, party to the suit, and expert)In the folder goes deposition transcripts, videotapes, deposition notes, exhibits todepositions, previous testimony on same subject (used for impeachment, etc.), copies ofarticles related to the subject lawsuit. ____ Set up exhibit folders (one for each exhibit), with labels identifying in detail the exhibit, andnumber in order the folders. ____ Schedule meeting with attorney or trial team to determine what exhibits will need to beenlarged, or what demonstrative evidence will need to be prepared for use at trial. ____ Finalize any demonstrative exhibits to be used by your experts. Confirm that any exhibitssuch as an accident reconstruction animation, etc. has been
A
blessed
@
by the expert whowill be using it at trial. ____ Schedule hotel accommodations, make travel arrangements, etc. for expert witnessescoming to trial.
 
14 Days Prior to Pre-Trial Conference
  ____ Contact opposing counsel and schedule attorneys
=
meeting for 7 days prior to pre-trialconference (exchange of witness and exhibit lists, draft of pre-trial stipulation, etc.)Meeting should begin at plaintiff attorney
=
s office and then move to defense counsel
=
soffice. ____ Draft list of objections to opposing party
=
s exhibits, witnesses, etc., for use in the pre-trialstipulation. ____ 
Pre-Trial Stipulation
. Draft pursuant to
A
Requirements of Pre-Trial Stipulation
@
 paragraph in the Order Scheduling Case for Trial. ____ Meet with attorney or trial team to determine if page/line designations in depositions will benecessary for trial for those witnesses not attending. ____ Attend attorneys
=
meeting with trial attorney. Make notes as to exhibits, which ones needobjections made, etc. ____ Draft any motions
in limine 
as to any evidence, testimony, statements made, basicallyanything that you want excluded that could be prejudicial at trial,
or if you want to make sure that something can be included 
 
at trial 
. ____ Prepare subpoenas for trial and get service. Be sure to include a
per diem 
check to beserved on the witness with the subpoena. ____ Prepare a draft of the Order of Proof for trial. Meet with trial team to finalize order of proofand exhibits to be used, i.e., which witness will introduce which exhibit.
10 Days Prior to Trial
  ____ Set up Trial Notebook(s) for trial team. ____ Confirm that all subpoenas have been served. Follow-up with favorable witnesses toadvise them of the approximate date and time they will need to be at the courthouse totestify. ____ Set up
A
War Room
@
for trial. ____ Perform legal research for any
A
pocket
@
memos that may need to be used at trial. ____ Draft Jury Instructions. ____ Draft Verdict Form. ____ Prepare Opening Statement PowerPoint or on Sanction ____ Check to make sure that all equipment to be used at trial is current on maintenance, isworking properly, and perform testing, testing, testing!! ____ Ask Judge for access to courtroom the Sunday before start of trial to set up electronicequipment.

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