Honorable Megan E. Shanahan
Hamilton County Courthouse
1000 Main Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Timothy Noel, Bailiff
Phone Number: 513-946-5750
Kathleen Hayes, Law Clerk
Phone Number: 513-946-5749
Fax Number: 513-946-5751
To set a hearing on a motion, contact the law clerk for civil cases and the bailiff for criminal cases. A file-stamped courtesy copy of the motion shall be provided to the Court. The Court will, sua sponte or at the request of a party, set a hearing on a case-by-case basis.
The Court will become involved in the settlement of both civil and criminal cases if the parties so desire.
In criminal cases, scheduling is done through the bailiff. In civil cases, a trial schedule is established at the initial case management conference. Unless unusual and/or unforeseen circumstances arise, a trial date is firm. Motions for continuances in civil cases must be made in writing, even if both parties agree, and the matter must be set down for hearing by contacting the law clerk. Continuances are not liberally granted.
Pretrial statements are due two days before the pretrial conference. Counsel should follow the format of the Local Rules. The pretrial conference will be set approximately two weeks prior to trial.
The Court prepares the jury instructions in criminal cases in accordance with Ohio Jury Instructions. Any special instructions requested in criminal cases must be submitted in writing by the requesting party. For civil cases, the attorneys are required to prepare jury instructions, in complete and editable form, and submit them to the law clerk via email two weeks prior to the trial. Trial briefs are welcomed but not required. All exhibits shall be marked in advance and a list submitted to the Court and the court reporter. A witness list shall be provided to the Court and the court reporter before trial. If any testimony is to be presented by videotape or deposition, objections shall be presented at least two weeks before trial. All deposition and video testimony shall be reviewed and edited prior to trial. Although there is no set time limit for voir dire, counsel is expected to keep voir dire direct. The Court will ask preliminary questions and leave the rest to counsel who will direct their questions to the jurors in the box, with individual jurors being questioned as they get moved into the box.
Discovery time limits are addressed in the case management scheduling order. The Court expects the parties to cooperate and be reasonable in all discovery matters. The parties should make every effort to resolve any dispute between them. The Court should only be involved as a last resort. Nevertheless, if the parties cannot resolve a discovery dispute, counsel should involve the Court before the issue affects the trial date.
Counsel is expected to be professional, respectful and courteous at all times. During a hearing or trial, counsel is free to move about the courtroom provided she or he can be heard by everyone involved in the matter. Counsel should ask permission to approach a witness. Counsel should stand when addressing the Court, a witness or the jury. After an objection is made, counsel may ask to approach if they wish to be heard. All argument should be made outside the presence of the jury.
I expect counsel to behave professionally and act with civility toward each other, parties, witnesses and my courtroom staff. I also expect counsel to be on time. If counsel will be late, they are expected to call the bailiff regarding criminal cases and the law clerk regarding civil cases.