On June 30, 2008, Judge Laplante vacated his Standing Order Governing the Rule 26(f) Planning Meeting and the Local Rule 16.1 Pretrial Conference. This order took effect February 21, 2008 and applied in all civil cases assigned to Judge Laplante. This Standing Order was also issued as a case specific order in all of Judge Laplanteís cases brought on or after its effective date. As part of the Standing Order, the parties were directed to file both a Joint Written Report of the Rule 26(f) Meeting as well as a Joint Proposed Discovery Plan. Parties are no longer required to make these two separate filings, but may file the single, customary Civil Form 2 - Discovery Plan in Judge Laplanteís cases.
The purpose of the now vacated standing order was for the court to engage counsel, and for counsel to engage each other, more frequently and in greater depth during the course of a civil case. Judge Laplante has determined that these purposes are sufficiently served by requiring counselís presence at, and by his personally presiding over, Preliminary Pretrial Conferences.
As a rule, Judge Laplante will continue to require counselís attendance at, and will personally preside over, Preliminary Pretrial Conferences in cases assigned to him, even cases in which the parties have agreed to a discovery plan. These Preliminary Pretrial Conferences are usually held in Judge Laplanteís chambers, without a record.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Judge Laplanteís Deputy Clerks, Debbie Eastman Proulx (225-1474) and Charli Pappas (225-1488).