State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_1A > GS_1A-1__Rule_16

Rule 16. Pre‑trialprocedure; formulating issues.

(a)        In any action, thejudge may in his discretion direct the attorneys for the parties to appearbefore him for a conference to consider

(1)        The simplificationand formulation of the issues;

(2)        The necessity ordesirability of amendments to the pleadings;

(3)        The possibility ofobtaining admissions of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessaryproof;

(4)        The limitation ofthe number of expert witnesses;

(5)        The advisability ornecessity of a reference of the case, either in whole or in part;

(6)        Matters of which thecourt is to be asked to take judicial notice;

(7)        Such other mattersas may aid in the disposition of the action.

If a conference is held, thejudge may make an order which recites the action taken at the conference, theamendments allowed to the pleadings, and the agreements made by the parties asto any of the matters considered, and which limits the issues for trial tothose not disposed of by admissions or agreements of counsel; and such orderwhen entered controls the subsequent course of the action, unless modified atthe trial to prevent manifest injustice. If any issue for  trial as stated inthe order is not raised by the pleadings in accordance with the provisions ofRule 8, upon motion of any party, the order shall require amendment of thepleadings.

(b)        In a medicalmalpractice action as defined in G.S. 90‑21.11, at the close of thediscovery period scheduled pursuant to Rule 26(f1), the judge shall schedule afinal conference.  After the conference, the judge shall refer any consentorder calendaring the case for trial to the senior resident superior courtjudge or the chief district court judge, who shall approve the consent orderunless he finds that:

(1)        The date specifiedin the order is unavailable,

(2)        The terms of theorder unreasonably delay the trial, or

(3)        The ends of justicewould not be served by approving the order.

If the senior residentsuperior court judge or the chief district court judge does not approve the consentorder, he shall calendar the case for trial.

In calendaring the case, thecourt shall take into consideration the nature and complexity of the case, theproximity and convenience of witnesses, the needs of counsel for both partiesconcerning their respective calendars, the benefits of an early disposition andsuch other matters as the court may deem proper. (1967, c. 954, s. 1; 1987, c.859, s. 4.)