Notify the court when your matter settles

November 2007
By Judge John Wittmayer, Multnomah County Circuit Court

A few weeks ago while I was on vacation, on a Friday I was assigned a five-day civil jury trial to start the Monday morning I was to return. The lawyers were very prepared - they delivered their trial memos, the pleadings, motions in limine and any other pretrial motions to my office on Friday.

As I was not there that day, my judicial assistant called me and told me about the trial assignment and the materials that had been delivered, which I needed to review before the Monday morning start. She brought the materials home with her, and I picked them up from her Sunday afternoon when I returned from out-of-town.

Sunday evening, just as I was about to start on the materials, and no doubt spend a number of hours on them, I checked my office email, which I am able to do from my home. To my very pleasant surprise, I found an email from the lawyers on my trial reporting that the case settled Saturday. I was so pleased to not have wasted a number of hours Sunday evening preparing for a trial that had already settled by that point.

Practice tip: Always notify the assigned judge promptly if the matter settles. If the settlement happens during the regular workday, call the office immediately. If it settles after normal hours, send an email. Our work email addresses are available online on the OSB's Web site at www.osbar.org/members/start.asp.

When your civil case settles more than the day before daily call, you need to telephone the court's calendaring section at 503.988.3168, extension 3. Court staff in this office make the entries into OJIN and generate the 35-day dismissal notice.

When your civil case settles the day before daily call, you need to telephone the office of the presiding judge at 503.988.3846 and report the settlement. The presiding judge's staff will make a notation of the settlement on the next day's call docket.