RULE 16. PRETRIAL CONFERENCES; SCHEDULING; MANAGEMENT
(a) Pretrial Conferences; Objectives.
In any action after issue is joined, theThe court in its discretion may, and upon written request of a party shall, direct the attorneys for the parties and any unrepresented parties to appear before it for a conference or conferences in advance of trial for such purposes as:
(1) expediting the disposition of the action;
(2) establishing early and continuing control so that the case will not be protracted because of lack of management;
(3) discouraging wasteful pretrial activities;
(4) improving the quality of the trial through more thorough preparation
(5) facilitating the settlement of the case
(6) discussing the desirability of using an alternative dispute resolution process.
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Rule 16 was amended, effective July 1, 1981; March 1, 1986; March 1, 1990; March 1, 1996; March 1, 2000.
Rule 16 was amended, effective March 1, 2000, to add a new subdivision (a)(6) relating to ADR.
This rule as amended effective March 1, 1986, is derived from Rule 16, FRCivP, as amended in 1983, with several important deviations. First is the requirement that issue be joined before a conference is held. Issue is joined when the parties to an action reach the stage where one party asserts a fact in the pleadings and the other party denies the fact. Black's Law Dictionary 432 (5th ed. 1983). The second change from Federal Rule 16 is that the court must hold a pretrial conference upon written request of a party, contrasted to complete discretion in the federal court. A third deviation is that subdivision (b) of the federal rule was not adopted. A scheduling order is not required as in the federal rule.
Subdivision (b) was amended, effective March 1, 1996, to follow the 1993 amendment to Rule 16(c), FRCivP.
Subdivision (e) was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendment is technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of May 6-7, 1999, pages 7-8; January 28-29, 1999, pages 7-12; January 26-27, 1995, page 10; September 29-30, 1994, pages 22-23; April 20, 1989, page 2; December 3, 1987, page 11; April 26, 1984, pages 26-28; January 20, 1984, pages 18-23; September 18-19, 1980, pages 12-13; September 20-21, 1979, page 11; Rule 16, FRCivP.
SUPERSEDED: Sections 28-1101, 28-1102, 28-1103, 28-1104, NDRC 1943.
CROSS REFERENCE: Rules 15 (Amended and Supplemental Pleadings), 36 (Requests for Admission), and 41 (Dismissal of Actions), N.D.R.Civ.P.; Rule 8.4 (Summons in Action for Divorce or Separation) N.D.R.Ct.