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Town of Georgetown v. David A. Bramble, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

August 2, 2017

TOWN OF GEORGETOWN, a municipal corporation Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID A. BRAMBLE, INC. and LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants,
v.
LEE RAIN, INC., a foreign corporation, and TRAVIS PATTERN & FOUNDRY INC., a foreign corporation Third-Party Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          HONORABLE LEONARD P. STARK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Having reviewed the parties' proposed final pretrial order and attachments (D.I. 184) ("PTO"), and with the pretrial conference ("PTC") to be held tomorrow, and the jury trial in this matter to begin on August 14, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

         1. The parties' various objections contained in footnotes in the PTO (see, e.g., at p. 13 n.8, p. 15 n.10, p. 22 n. 13), which largely relate to whether a particular issue is contested or uncontested, or is an issue of law or of fact, are OVERRULED, as the Court determines that the parties are simply preserving their rights. The Court will make necessary evidentiary decisions at trial.

         2. With respect to deposition testimony designated by Defendants to be read or played to the jury at trial (see PTO at 30-32), the Court OVERRULES WITHOUT PREJUDICE Plaintiffs generalized objection (PTO at 30) to "all portions identified by Defendants." The PTO contains the maximum universe of deposition designations and counter-designations, as well as the maximum universe of objections to such designated testimony. It is anticipated that as the parties finalize their trial presentations, the amount of designated testimony will likely be narrowed.

         In any event, and subject to the foregoing, should any objections to deposition testimony remain following appropriate meet and confers, the following procedures will be used to resolve such objections:

a. Each party will identify specific excerpts of prior testimony that it intends to introduce by 6:00 p.m. two (2) calendar days before the start of the trial day on which that witness's testimony will be offered. (For example, witnesses to be called by designation on Monday must be disclosed by 6:00 p.m. the preceding Saturday, along with their proposed testimony.)
b. The other side must identify any objections to the designated testimony, and any counter-designations, no later than 9:00 p.m. that same day.
c. The parties shall meet and confer as to any objections no later than 12:00 p.m. the calendar day before the trial day on which that witness's testimony will be offered.
d. Any unresolved objections will be submitted to the Court in a joint submission by 6:00 p.m. that same day. The joint submission shall include (i) a copy of the entire proposed testimony of the witness at issue, clearly highlighting the designations and counter designations; and (ii) a cover letter identifying the pending objections, as well as a brief indication (no more than one sentence per objection and response) of the basis for the objection and the offering party's response to the objection.

         Failure to comply with these procedures, absent an agreement by the parties and approval by the Court, will result in waiver of the use of the testimony or waiver of objection to the use of the testimony.

         3. The PTO contains the maximum universe of exhibits that may be offered into evidence as well as all objections that may be offered to the admission of such exhibits, absent agreement among the parties or subsequent Order of the Court based upon a finding of good cause. If, after disclosure by a party of the specific exhibits or demonstratives to be used with a witness (or in opening statements or closing arguments), objections remain, the parties must bring those objections to the Court's attention no later than the morning on which they anticipate that the exhibit will be used in trial. Failure to comply with these procedures will result in waiver of the use of the exhibit or waiver of the objection.

         4. Trial will begin, as has long been the schedule, on Monday, August 14. The case will be submitted to the jury no later than August 21. Counsel must appear each morning of trial at 8:30 a.m. The jury will be available each day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. other than on the first morning, when the jury pool is available beginning at 9:30 a.m. for jury selection.

         The Court has determined that this case can be reasonably, fairly, and effectively tried in a maximum of twenty (20) trial hours. Parties will be charged time for direct, cross, and redirect examinations they conduct (including any testimony presented by deposition), opening statements and closing arguments they offer, time spent reading uncontested facts to the jury, and for arguments they make on any objections or motions outside the presence of the jury. The only times that are not charged to any party are the time spent on jury selection, jury instruction (preliminary and final), jury deliberations, and any argument the Court permits on disputed jury instructions.

         As the PTO contains unreasonable[1] and insufficiently specific requests for trial hours, the parties shall meet and confer and SUBMIT, no later than 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, August 3, their specific proposal(s) for how ...


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