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Court Of Chancery Requires More Cooperation In Pretrial Orders

Itron Inc. v. Consert Inc., C.A. 7720-VCL (January 15, 2015) This decision may change litigation practice in the Court of Chancery.  Most lawyers, myself included, dislike arguing over the statement of admitted facts required in a pretrial order. There are many reason for that, such as the need to go over statements carefully to be sure each does not spin the facts unfairly.  That is tedious, particularly when the facts asked to be admitted seem irrelevant to the proceedings or are prejudicial.  After all, who wants a client's past troubles aired before the Court when attempts to get them into evidence would never succeed during trial?  However, Chancery trials are bench trails before experienced chancellors and unfair prejudice is less a problem there. In any case, this decision requires the parties to admit anything that is true in a proposed statement of facts in a pretrial order. The facts may come from admissions in an answer, in discovery, or otherwise.  This will take work.  However, given that the Court is already burdened, that the lawyers are getting paid to do the work, and that arguments over what is or is not relevant are too time consuming in a judge-only trial, the need to do the work is justified. Share


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