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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 3.541. Duties of the coordination trial judge

(a) Initial case management conference

The coordination trial judge must hold a case management conference within 45 days after issuance of the assignment order. Counsel and all self-represented persons must attend the conference and be prepared to discuss all matters specified in the order setting the conference. At any time following the assignment of the coordination trial judge, a party may serve and submit a proposed agenda for the conference and a proposed form of order covering such matters of procedure and discovery as may be appropriate. At the conference, the judge may:

(1)  Appoint liaison counsel under rule 3.506;

(2)  Establish a timetable for filing motions other than discovery motions;

(3)  Establish a schedule for discovery;

(4)  Provide a method and schedule for the submission of preliminary legal questions that might serve to expedite the disposition of the coordinated actions;

(5)  In class actions, establish a schedule, if practicable, for the prompt determination of matters pertinent to the class action issue;

(6)  Establish a central depository or depositories to receive and maintain for inspection by the parties evidentiary material and specified documents that are not required by the rules in this chapter to be served on all parties; and

(7)  Schedule further conferences if appropriate.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2005.)

(b) Management of proceedings by coordination trial judge

The coordination trial judge must assume an active role in managing all steps of the pretrial, discovery, and trial proceedings to expedite the just determination of the coordinated actions without delay. The judge may, for the purpose of coordination and to serve the ends of justice:

(1)  Order any coordinated action transferred to another court under rule 3.543;

(2)  Schedule and conduct hearings, conferences, and a trial or trials at any site within this state that the judge deems appropriate with due consideration to the convenience of parties, witnesses, and counsel; to the relative development of the actions and the work product of counsel; to the efficient use of judicial facilities and resources; and to the calendar of the courts; and

(3)  Order any issue or defense to be tried separately and before trial of the remaining issues when it appears that the disposition of any of the coordinated actions might thereby be expedited.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2005.)

Rule 3.541 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as rule 1541 effective January 1, 1974; previously amended effective January 1, 2005.

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