Initial Case Management Conference. Except as provided by local circuit court rule, which on petition of the chief judge of the circuit has been approved by the Supreme Court, the court shall hold a case management conference within 35 days after the parties are at issue and in no event more than 182 days following the filing of the complaint. At the conference counsel familiar with the case and authorized to act shall appear and the following shall be considered:
the nature, issues, and complexity of the case;
the simplification of the issues;
amendments to the pleadings;
the possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof;
limitations on discovery including:
the number and duration of depositions which may be taken;
the area of expertise and the number of expert witnesses who may be called; and
deadlines for the disclosure of witnesses and the completion of written discovery and depositions;
the possibility of settlement and scheduling of a settlement conference;
the advisability of alternative dispute resolution;
the date on which the case should be ready for trial;
the advisability of holding subsequent case management conferences; and
any other matters which may aid in the disposition of the action.
Subsequent Case Management Conferences. At the initial and any subsequent case management conference, the court shall set a date for a subsequent management conference or a trial date.
Order. At the case management conference, the court shall make an order which recites any action taken by the court, the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and which specifies as the issues for trial those not disposed of at the conference. The order controls the subsequent course of the action unless modified. All dates set for the disclosure of opinion witnesses, including rebuttal witnesses, and the completion of discovery shall be chosen to ensure that discovery will be completed not later than 60 days before the date on which the trial court reasonably anticipates that trial will commence, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. This rule is to be liberally construed to do substantial justice between and among the parties.
Calendar. The court shall establish a pretrial calendar on which actions shall be placed for consideration, as above provided, either by the court on its own motion or on the motion of any party.
Amended June 1, 1995, effective January 1, 1996; amended May 31, 2002, effective July 1, 2002; amended October 4, 2002, effective immediately.