Honorable Christian A. Jenkins
Hamilton County Courthouse
1000 Main Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Adam Eiser, Bailiff
Phone Number: 513-946-5961
Johnnie Fitzpatrick, Law Clerk
Phone Number: 513-946-5962
Fax Number: 513-946-5964
General Rules Applicable In All Matters
Counsel and parties are expected to be professional, respectful, and courteous at all times. Counsel are expected to behave professionally and to act with civility toward each other, the parties, witnesses, staff and the general public. When speaking during a hearing or trial, counsel should stand, either at the podium or at their table. Counsel should ask permission before approaching a witness or the bench, but consider such permission continuing after the first request unless otherwise directed from the bench.
The Court recognizes that counsel are often busy with multiple matters. If an attorney is going to be late for a scheduled proceeding, the attorney is expected to telephone the Bailiff (criminal matters) or Staff Attorney (civil matters) in advance. Attorneys who are habitually or unreasonably late may be subject to appropriate sanctions.
Adherence to Applicable Rules
The Court expects all counsel and parties, including pro se parties, to adhere to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure as applicable, as well as local rules and the Court’s standing orders and guidelines set forth herein.
Contact staff attorney Johnnie Fitzpatrick (513) 946-5962 email@example.com
The Court will reasonably accommodate requests to appear by telephone or zoom to the extent possible. Contact the Court’s staff attorney sufficiently in advance to make needed arrangements if remote appearance is requested.
Initial Case Management Conferences
Pursuant to Civ.R. 26, counsel are required to meet 21 days prior to the initial case management conference to develop a discovery plan. The Court’s suggested proposed discovery plan form is available here. If the parties cannot agree on an element of the proposed discovery plan, they should indicate their respective positions thereon. The proposed discovery plan should be filed 7 days prior to the initial case management conference.
The initial case management conference can be conducted by telephone, zoom or in person. Parties are instructed to coordinate with the Court’s staff attorney in advance to make appropriate arrangements to appear by telephone or zoom.
The initial case management conference is an opportunity to effectively plan the litigation. Individual parties are not required to attend initial case management conferences so long as their attorneys are present. However, parties and their counsel are advised to prepare for initial case management conferences and the issues likely to be discussed, including but not limited to settlement.
The parties and their counsel are strongly advised to act in good faith to fulfill their respective discovery obligations and avoid unnecessary disputes. In the event of a discovery dispute, counsel are expected to comply with Rule 37(A)(1) by conferring in good faith to attempt to resolve the dispute. The Court expects all counsel to cooperate in such efforts through actual discussion. If a dispute cannot be resolved, counsel are expected to contact the Court’s staff attorney to arrange an informal conference with the Court. No motions to compel should be filed without first following this process.
The case management order will set forth a discovery deadline. The parties cannot extend this deadline without prior Court approval.
The Court will actively assist with settlement if requested by all parties. In addition, the parties may be referred to the Court’s alternative dispute resolution/mediation program upon request. This referral may be made at the Case Management Conference, or at a later date upon motion by the parties.
All motions must be in writing. The timelines for responses to and replies in support of motions will follow those imposed by the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and any applicable local rule. Motions filed in civil cases are generally taken under submission without oral argument after briefing is complete. Oral argument in a civil case is set only upon request or at the direction of the Court. Contact opposing counsel prior to contacting the Court’s staff attorney to request oral argument on a civil motion. Motions and evidentiary hearings in civil cases are typically set in the afternoon. For motions to withdraw as counsel in civil cases, follow Local Rule 10(D) and call the Court’s staff attorney to schedule a hearing.
A file-stamped courtesy copy of motions and briefs filed in civil cases should be provided to the Court. A proposed entry should be provided to the Court’s staff attorney in Word format via email at the time of filing of a civil motion.
Calendaring and Continuances
All requests for extensions of time, modifications of case management orders and continuances must be made in writing. Counsel should contact opposing counsel prior to filing such a motion to determine whether the motion will be opposed. When requesting an extension or continuance, parties should provide the Court with a specific date for the continuance, preferably with the concurrence of opposing counsel. Trial dates are continued only in exceptional circumstances and only by the Court.
Final Pretrial Conference
A formal pretrial is scheduled prior to trial. Each party must file a pretrial statement no less than one week prior to the final pretrial. The final pretrial statement should provide the Court with a brief synopsis of the case, the status of any settlement negotiations, the expected length of trial including the number of potential witnesses, and any special issues or trial needs anticipated.
All parties and chosen representatives must be present at the final pretrial with full, final, and immediate settlement authority. If the real party in interest is an insurance company, corporation, common carrier, or other artificial entity, then the chosen representative must be the person with full, final, and immediate authority to negotiate and enter into a binding settlement agreement as to all claims.
The Court will schedule a settlement conference or pretrial conference upon the request of the parties.
Motions in limine must be filed at least 28 days prior to trial under Civ.R. 6. Opposing briefs, if any, are due 14 days thereafter. No Reply shall be permitted.
Parties shall file trial briefs and proposed jury instructions and interrogatories no later than 14 days before trial. Trial briefs are to include: a statement of the facts; a discussion of the controlling law; any stipulations; witness list along with a brief description of the subject matter of the testimony of each witness; exhibit list containing a brief description of each exhibit. Witnesses or exhibits not listed in the trial brief shall not testify or be introduced at trial absent a showing of good cause.
Counsel are directed to confer about proposed jury instructions and interrogatories, as well as a proposed introductory statement under Civ.R. 47(A), to reach agreement thereon to the extent possible. The parties’ filings should indicate which instructions and interrogatories are agreed and which are disputed, and provide supporting authority for proposed instructions and interrogatories that are disputed. In addition to filing proposed jury instructions and interrogatories, the parties shall submit the same to the Court’s staff attorney in Word format.
Exhibits shall be bound and marked before trial and submitted to the Court prior to trial. Each party shall include as one of their exhibits the curriculum vitae of any expert(s) that may be called to present evidence or testimony at trial for the use of the Court.
All possible stipulations are to be made prior to trial.
The Court and counsel conduct voir dire. There is no time limit. Jurors are permitted to take notes but shall not be permitted to ask questions during trial. Post-verdict, attorneys are permitted to talk to jurors with the jurors’ consent.
Parties shall submit trial briefs and motions in limine no later than fourteen (14) days before trial. Trial briefs are to include: a statement of the facts; a discussion of the controlling law; any stipulations; witness list along with a brief description of the subject matter of the testimony of each witness; exhibit list containing a brief description of each exhibit. Witnesses or exhibits not listed in the trial brief shall not testify or be introduced at trial absent a showing of good cause. Opposing briefs to motions in limine shall be filed no later than seven (7) days before trial.
Exhibits shall be bound and marked before trial and submitted to the court prior to trial. Each party shall include as one of their exhibits the curriculum vitae of any expert(s) that may be called to present evidence or testimony at trial for the use of the Court.
Contact bailiff Adam Eiser (513) 946-5961 firstname.lastname@example.org
In criminal cases, the prosecution has a duty to provide discovery to the defense, including but not limited to, mitigating and exculpatory evidence. Possession of such evidence by law enforcement is imputed to the state.
Sentencing Memoranda are highly encouraged and should be filed with the Court no later than 3 days before the sentencing hearing. A courtesy copy should be provided to the court via email and to opposing counsel.
The parties shall file all proposed jury instructions no later than 14 days prior to trial with courtesy copies to the Court’s staff attorney in Word format via email. The parties are directed to confer to identify agreed and disputed jury instructions and to identify proposed instructions as such in their filings. Jury instructions not filed prior to trial will not be given to the jury unless necessitated by evidence adduced at trial.
The parties shall file any proposed stipulations no later than 14 days prior to trial.
Exhibits shall be bound and marked before trial and submitted to the Court at one week prior to trial. Each party shall include as one of their exhibits the curriculum vitae of any expert(s) that may be called to present evidence or testimony at trial for the use of the Court.
If any testimony is to be presented by videotape or deposition, objections shall be presented at least one week before trial. All deposition and video testimony shall be reviewed and edited prior to trial.
Voir Dire, Juror Notetaking and Contact
The Court and counsel will conduct voir dire. There is no time limit, but the Court expects counsel to be direct and efficient with their questioning. Jurors are permitted to take notes but shall not be permitted to ask questions during trial. Post-verdict, attorneys are permitted to talk to jurors with the jurors’ consent.
About Judge Jenkins
Judge Christian A. Jenkins was elected to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas for a six-year term commencing on January 2, 2021. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Jenkins was in private practice for more than 25 years. Judge Jenkins began his practice in the labor and employment and litigation departments of a large law firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin before moving to Cincinnati in 1998. Since that time Judge Jenkins devoted his practice to complex litigation, including national class actions, and representing public sector employee unions, including many employees of the City of Cincinnati and area school districts.
Judge Jenkins received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University. He attended the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he received his degree with high honors. Judge Jenkins is an avid competitive long distance runner.