Judge Wall's Courtroom Practices
Judge Wall took the bench January 1, 2019. She serves the General Division covering criminal, civil and domestic relations. Judge Wall is the Administrative Judge for 2021. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Wall served as the Law Director/Prosecutor for the City of Piqua and briefly as an associate at Green & Green Lawyers. Prior to locating to Miami County, she served as the Assistant Law Director/Prosecutor for the City of Norwood and as an Assistant City Solicitor/Prosecutor for the City of Cincinnati. Judge Wall graduated with Distinction from the Ohio Northern University with a BA in Philosophy and Political Science. She graduated with her juris doctor from the Ohio Northern University College of Law. She remains a member of the Miami County and Ohio State Bar Associations.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio’s “Introductory Statement on Civility” reminds attorneys that “that common courtesy, respect, and personal integrity play an essential role in the administration of justice.” The Court expects no less from the attorneys appearing before it. Contention borne of frustration or merely to impress a client increases costs, delays, and wastes the Court’s time. This type of conduct is unwelcome. The Court anticipates and expects professional behavior from attorneys. All attorneys shall follow Rule 3.4 of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct. Additionally, the Preamble to the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct state: “In all professional functions a lawyer should be competent, prompt, diligent, and loyal.” The Court puts great emphasis on being on time as to not create delays in the docket and respectful of all individuals in the courtroom.
Pro se Litigants
Pro se litigants are, according to the law, presumed to know the law and correct procedure (and must accept the results of their errors). The Court sits as an impartial arbiter, and all litigants will be treated equally.
Requests of the Court
Requests for transcripts or questions about scheduling should be directed to Assignment Commissioner Kim Hebb at email@example.com or 937.440.6021. Questions about procedural issues should be directed to Staff Attorney Kevin Lantz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937.440.6022.
Scheduling Assessments – Civil
Attorneys must complete and return a Scheduling Assessment Form within seven (7) days following receipt from the Court. A copy of the Scheduling Assessment Form may be found here. Forms need not be filed but shall be emailed/sent to Assignment Commissioner, Kim Hebb (email@example.com).
Scheduling Conferences – Civil
If a party requests a Scheduling Conference, the parties must submit a Rule 26(F) Report of Parties form seven (7) days prior to the Scheduling Conference. A copy of a Rule 26(F) Report of Parties form may be found here. If no party requests a Scheduling Conference, the Court will issue a Scheduling Order based upon the responses to the Scheduling Assessment.
Scheduling conferences are generally conducted with all counsel of record participating by telephone conference. Plaintiff’s counsel should initiate the telephone conference and connect the Court when all counsel are joined. Parties are not required to attend scheduling conferences unless so ordered.
Scheduling Conferences – Criminal
At the arraignment, a criminal case will be set for an initial Pretrial within 14 days. Subsequent Pre-trials may be set on a case-by-case basis considering R.C. 2945.71-.73. The Defendant’s appearance is required unless otherwise excused by the Court.
At the initial Pretrial, a plea or motion hearing or trial date will be set. The parties are expected to bring to the Court’s attention immediately any speedy trial issues.
If a defendant wishes to change a plea to guilty, a change of plea form may be found here.
If the offense involved is a qualified offense under Senate Bill 201, sex offenses, OVI, or includes a gun specification(s), the Court will draft the appropriate change of plea form on a case-by-case basis. Counsel shall make their best effort to have reviewed the change of plea form with their client prior to the hearing.
Discovery – Civil
The Court’s Scheduling Order will include a reasonable timeframe to complete discovery on a case-by-case basis based upon the Scheduling Assessment and/or the Rule 26(F) Report of Parties. The deadline for discovery is the date by which all discovery shall be completed, not merely served or noticed. Extension to the discovery schedule shall be requested by motion and may not be obtained by stipulation of the parties.
Parties shall make a concerted effort to resolve discovery disputes by agreement before involving the Court.
Discovery – Criminal
Considering the defendant’s speedy trial rights, R.C. 2945.71-.73, the Court will strictly enforce adherence to Crim.R. 16, appropriate statutory provisions and the Rules of Evidence.
The appropriate Civil, Criminal, and Local Rules govern motion practice. Generally, motions will be considered on the written briefs and will be considered submitted for determination when all memoranda are submitted in accordance with the applicable rules. Requests for oral hearings on motions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Leave of Court is required prior to filing any motion not otherwise permitted by rule or prior order of the Court.
Although the Court does not have a formal mediation program, parties are encouraged to mediate on their own. The Court will assist as needed.
Final Pretrial - Civil
All parties and/or representatives with settlement authority are required to be present for the Final Pretrial. The parties will receive an Order describing the requirements of the Pretrial Statement to be submitted.
The Court will distribute existing Courtroom Policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic at the Final Pretrial Conference.
Final Pretrial – Criminal
The Court will conduct all Final Pretrials in person, except where otherwise arranged. All attorneys should be prepared to discuss readiness for trial, anticipated pre-trial motions, and stipulations with regards to the admission of exhibits and identified any joint exhibits.
The defendant will need to complete a Notification to Defendant Upon Sentencing form, which may be found here. However, if the case is a SB 201 case, the Court will prepare an individualized Notification to Defendant Upon Sentencing Form. Counsel shall request from the Court to review the Presentence Investigation Report prior to sentencing.
The Court will file in each civil case a trial procedure order. In all cases, motions in limine shall be filed no later than the final pretrial, unless otherwise discussed with the Court at the final pretrial or upon good cause.
Trials will typically begin at 9:00 a.m. Counsel are requested to be in their places and ready to begin by 8:30 a.m. so that any preliminary matters may be resolved prior to the start of trial.
In a jury trial, counsel shall provide jury instructions that conform to OJI or cite to published Ohio cases. The parties need not provide the standard instructions on procedural issues such as burden of proof, types of evidence, credibility, etc. Counsel shall provide jury instructions that are relevant to the specific issues to be presented at trial. All instructions should be short, concise, understandable and neutral statements of law. The Court will not consider proposed jury instructions that are deemed argumentative or that otherwise do not conform to these requirements. The parties must serve their proposed jury instructions, interrogatories, and verdict forms on each other at least five (5) days before trial. If a party or parties submitted proposed jury instructions with their Pretrial Statement, that shall serve as an exchange by that party or parties upon all other parties.
Attorneys are to be prompt, courteous, and respectful at all times. Attorneys should stand when addressing the Court, questioning witnesses, and when objecting. Attorneys should be prepared for trial on the day that the trial is set. If an attorney is going to be late, please notify the Court.
Due to the COVID pandemic, Counsel and parties are required to be masked while at counsel table. Counsel may remove the mask when questioning witnesses. Parties and witnesses may remove their masks when testifying.
Any attorney, witness or party may contact the Court to appear via video.
An Entry submitted to the Court for continued disbursements shall include the name of the garnishee from which funds have been received.