Honorable J. Patrick Foley III
Hamilton County Courthouse
1000 Main Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Robert Bryan, Bailiff
Phone Number: 513-946-5890
Susan Irion, Law Clerk
Phone Number: 513-946-5891
Fax Number: 513-946-5894
Attorneys should be familiar with and follow the local rules, which can be found at https://www.hamilton-co.org/common_pleas/Rules.htm
Attorneys must complete and file Notification Forms upon their first appearance in the case. If a Notification Form is not filed, they will not receive notice of scheduled court dates.
Civil Case Management Conferences
The Law Clerk will prepare a case management order after conferring with the parties. Any attorney who wishes to have a conference with the judge should advise the Law Clerk. The parties are encouraged to use the case management conference to address with the judge any special issues the case may present.
Case management conferences may be conducted by telephone. Attorneys who wish to participate by phone should notify the Law Clerk beforehand to arrange for call-in instructions. If more than two attorneys will be involved in the call, the parties should arrange for all participants to be on the line before calling the Law Clerk.
The court does not schedule status reports unless requested by the parties or ordered for a specific purpose. Any party can request a status report or conference with the court by contacting the Law Clerk.
Continuance of a trial date will be considered based upon a written motion showing good cause. A courtesy copy of the motion should be delivered to the Law Clerk. The motion should be filed on the earliest date the grounds become known to the movant. Absent extraordinary circumstances, a continuance will not be granted on the basis that the parties need more time to negotiate.
The parties may stipulate to extend witness disclosure and discovery deadlines, provided extensions do not affect the motion deadline or trial date.
Civil Motion Practice
It is not necessary to provide the court with a courtesy copy of motions and memoranda unless the motion requests a continuance or requires an expedited hearing. The court will consider scheduling an oral argument at the request of any party.
Attorneys are encouraged to contact the Law Clerk if a fully briefed motion has been pending for more than four weeks or if they do not receive prompt notice of a hearing date. The court makes every effort to decide motions quickly, but it is possible that a motion escapes the court’s attention.
The court is available for telephone or in-person conferences if the parties need to discuss a discovery issue. Parties are asked to confer with the court before filing motions to compel or motions for sanctions.
Consult Local Rule 14(D) before filing a discovery motion. The pendency of a motion does not extend the discovery deadline.
Protective orders must comply with Sup. R. 45(E), which requires a written motion and specific findings by the court before a document can be filed under seal. Generic language permitting a party to file “confidential” documents under seal does not comply with the rule.
The court will participate in settlement discussions for civil cases at the request of the parties. The Court of Common Pleas mediation services are available to all parties. Please see the Law Clerk if you would like a referral to mediation.
Follow Local Rule 15(B) regarding pretrial procedures and the filing of a pretrial statement. Parties are not required to attend the pretrial unless specifically ordered by the court.
Motions in limine must be submitted at least two business days before the pretrial.
Proposed jury instructions should be filed two business days before the pretrial and emailed in Microsoft Word format to the Law Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trial days typically start at 10:00 a.m. (following the court’s 9:00 a.m. criminal docket) and conclude between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. There is a brief recess every ninety minutes and an hour for lunch.
The parties are responsible for securing all audio-visual equipment. Counsel wishing to use the court’s equipment should contact the Court Administrator’s office at 946-5800 at least a week before trial.
The judge will question the venire on preliminary matters related to disqualification or hardship. Attorneys are given latitude to conduct voir dire but will not be allowed to argue the case during jury selection
Attorneys should use the podium when addressing the judge, jury, or witness; however, they may move freely about the courtroom when circumstances dictate but should respect the personal space of the witness, the jurors, and opposing counsel.
Each party should provide the court with an exhibit list containing spaces at the right margin for the name of the authenticating witness and the status of admission. No list is necessary if the parties expect fewer than ten exhibits per side. Exhibit binders for the court are mandatory.
An exhibit or transcript may not be published to the jury for the first time without leave of court. In criminal cases an exhibit may not be published to the jury until it has been admitted. In civil cases the parties may await the conclusion of their case to move all exhibits into evidence; the failure of opposing counsel to object to the publication of an exhibit may be deemed a waiver of the objection to admission. Demonstrative exhibits are not admitted unless the proffering party shows that the probative value of the exhibit to the jury outweighs any prejudice.
The parties must exchange designations of deposition testimony at least one week before trial. The parties must confer and attempt to resolve objections and cross-designations before the start of trial and bring to the court’s attention any rulings required before the depositions are proffered.
Jurors will be allowed to take notes, which will be collected by the Bailiff at the end of each court day and destroyed after the jury has been discharged. Parties objecting to juror note-taking should raise the objection before the start of trial.
Objections should be succinct. Speaking objections are not permitted.