Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher A. Wagner

Honorable Christopher A. Wagner

Hamilton County Courthouse
1000 Main Street
Room 330
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Kayla Curtin, Bailiff
Phone Number: 513-946-5890

Susan Irion, Staff Attorney
Phone Number: 513-946-5891
Fax Number: 513-946-5894

Judge Wagner Plea & Registration Forms:

Courtroom Procedures

Courtroom Etiquette

Attorneys are to be prompt, courteous, and respectful at all times. This courtesy extends to all litigants, witnesses, jurors, and court staff.

Attorneys should stand when addressing the Court, questioning witnesses, and when objecting. If a case is in progress, attorneys should quietly wait for the Bailiff or Staff Attorney to approach.  You may be asked to step into the hall to discuss your matter.

The civil docket is tightly timed, therefore phone calls, Zoom calls, and in person appearances should be conducted at the time set by the Court.  If a party is going to be late or the court appearance needs to be rescheduled, attorneys should contact the Staff Attorney in advance.

Attorneys should be prepared for trial on the day that the trial is set. If an attorney is going to be late, please notify the court’s staff in advance.


Initial Case Management Conference Civil Cases

The Assignment Commissioner sets the initial case management when the case is filed.  Those appearances are by phone unless you were contacted by the Staff Attorney to appear in person.  Parties should file a Civ. R 26(F) discovery plan before that conference, if possible, (see below).  This Court does not require a set form for a Civ. R. 26(F) filing. Contact the Staff Attorney in advance if you need to change the initial case management conference.

Calendaring and Continuances

The court sets its own calendar.  Continuances past the Supreme Court deadline will not be granted unless there is an extraordinary reason.

Continuances of discovery deadlines without the Court’s consent shall be permitted as long as 1) all the parties agree and 2) the extension does not interfere with the dispositive motion date and the Trial date.

Motions for continuances of a set trial date in civil cases must be made in writing even if both parties agree.  The matter may be set for a status conference or hearing by contacting the Staff Attorney.

Discovery Civil Cases

Discovery is set out in the case management order. Discovery disputes should not linger.  Attorneys are to make all reasonable efforts to settle discovery disputes amongst the parties. Prior to any party filing any Discovery Motion, the parties shall contact Judge Wagner’s Staff Attorney to set an Attorney Conference either via telephone, video, or in-person with the Court as soon as possible.

Remote Appearance

The court permits the use Telephone or Video Conference but this courtesy is at the Court's discretion.  This courtesy will be revoked for any number of reasons most especially for lack of preparedness.

Motion Practice

To set a hearing on a civil case, contact the Staff Attorney. To set a hearing on a criminal case, contact the Bailiff. A file stamped courtesy copy of the motion should be provided in advance to the court. Typically, we handle criminal motions in the morning and civil motions in the afternoon.

There is a page limit on motion briefs of 20 pages, 60 pages total with exhibits.  Attorneys may ask for leave of court for additional pages.  Motions with more than 3 exhibits should provide a tabbed binder as a courtesy copy to the Court.  Failure to follow these directives without leave of court can result in the Court striking the motion.


Regarding both criminal and civil matters, attorneys are encouraged to reach resolutions on their own. However, if that fails, the parties are encouraged to contact the Court, which will assist in settlement discussions in civil cases.


Judge Wagner Criminal Cases Trial Checklist

Judge Wagner Civil Cases Trial Checklist

The Court will attempt to handle all Criminal and Civil Pretrials preferably in person. A Pretrial may be set by zoom at the request of the parties, particularly if an attorney practices out of town.  All attorneys should be prepared to discuss deadlines, motions, and settlement to help facilitate the resolution of the case as well as readiness for trial.  Clients or individuals with full settlement authority may be required to be either present at the final Pretrial or available by phone or video, you may contact the court’s staff for clarification for individual cases. Attorneys for all parties shall converse prior to the Pretrial regarding the case status.


  • The court does not schedule trials for the purpose of satisfying curiosity as to whether witnesses will appear.
  • Motions in Limine, in accordance with Civ.R. 6, shall be filed at least 28 days before Trial.  Any Brief in Opposition is due 14 days thereafter.  No Reply shall be permitted.
  • Notice of Self Defense and Notice of Alibi must be filed 30 days in advance of trial.  The notices must contain specificity.  Crim. R. 12.1 and 12.2.
  • The Court additionally orders that at least 2 business days prior to Trial, the parties are to file the following: 1) Witness Lists, 2) Exhibit Lists, 3) Joint Jury Instructions, Jury Interrogatories, and /or Jury Verdict Forms if applicable, and 4) Stipulations.
  • All exhibits need to be marked in advance and a list submitted to both the Court and the court reporter (civil exhibits should be in the format of a tabbed binder see below). The witness list needs to be provided to both the Court and the court reporter before trial.
  • Transcripts of audio and video exhibits are highly encouraged.  A bench book of exhibits is extremely helpful.  Please prove the Court and the court reporter a bench book and transcripts before trial.  In displaying technical exhibits please contact court staff for an opportunity to practice with the courtroom audio and digital equipment before the trial date.
  • The court will only examine evidence or testimony at trial or as evidence in a Motion for Summary Judgement.
  • With respect to civil Jury Instructions, Jury Interrogatories, and Jury Verdict Forms, the Parties are to provide the Court with one consolidated set of Instructions/Interrogatories/Verdict Forms that includes all those to which the Parties agree and that identifies all those to which the Parties disagree.  A courtesy copy in a Word format should be emailed to the Staff Attorney. Any special criminal instructions or requested civil instructions should be emailed to the Staff Attorney in advance of trial.
  • Voir direwill be of the panel in the box with individual jurors questioned as they get moved into the box. Jurors may take notes but may not ask questions.  Please refrain from asking similar questions as the Court.
  • No speaking objections in jury trials.  Please wait for instruction from the Court.


There is no greater exercise of judicial power than sentencing.  Attorneys must be prepared to argue the law, facts, and mitigation.  The court only accepts recommended sentences.  Sentencing Memorandums are highly encouraged and should be filed with the Court no later than 3 days before the sentencing hearing.  A file-stamped courtesy copy should be provided to the court.

CASE Management Conferences

All CMCs are held by telephone, unless otherwise requested. Plaintiff's counsel is to initiate the telephone conference to Defendant's counsel and then to Judge Wagner’s Staff Attorney. If possible, groups of four or more attorneys should set up a conference line.  Requests for production of documents and interrogatories must be served prior to the Case Management Conference. Pursuant to Civ.R. 27(F) attorneys are to meet 21 days prior to the CMC develop a discovery plan for filing 7 days prior to the CMC, if possible.  The Court shall set a discovery schedule and Trial schedule during the CMCs.

Civil Docket Case Management

The Court expects to move its docket quickly and efficiently with the goal of disposing of all cases within the Supreme Court guidelines.  Attorneys should be prepared to discuss settlement at the earliest opportunity.

Settlement and Final Entry

Civil cases that have settled should inform the Court’s staff attorney as soon as practical.  The Staff attorney will set the matter for final entry.  The entry dates are not in person appearances, but those dates are court appearances.  If the final entry is not able to be completed on that date, the parties should contact the Staff Attorney by email or phone to explain the delay, and the Court may set a new date accordingly.  The Court may set the matter for show cause hearing if there is any indication that counsel is not facilitating a final entry in a timely manner.