A recent order of the Administrative Justice of the Superior Court’s Business Litigation Session restricts the use of motions which dispose of some, but not all, claims or issues in a case. Permission of the Court must now be obtained prior to filing such a motion.
In her order, which took effect September 4, 2012, Judge Judith Fabricant noted that motions for partial summary judgment, to dismiss or for judgment on the pleadings as to less than all claims, and other partial dispositive motions “consume substantial amounts of the court’s and the parties’ time and resources but often do not substantially reduce the length of the litigation or trial.” Therefore, prior to filing such a motion, “the moving party shall confer with all other parties concerning [the motion’s] benefits and costs … its scope and effect on the balance of the litigation, and the time needed to prepare, argue and decide the motion.”
The moving party (or all parties if they have agreed) must then request a status conference with the Court. That request may be made by a telephone call or brief letter to the session clerk. At the conference, the Court and the parties will discuss “the proposed filing of the motion and whether its presentation to and disposition by the Court will materially and substantially advance or reduce the scope of the litigation.” The Court will then decide whether to permit the filing of the motion and, it so, will develop a briefing schedule.
A copy of Judge Fabricant’s order can be found here.