Court of Common Pleas
Honorable Jeffrey G. Trauger
Bucks County Justice Center
100 North Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Court of Common Pleas
Standard Operating Procedures
Requests for continuances of matters on any Trial or Arbitration List are handled by the Court Administrator’s Office. The procedures can be found on the Court Calendar page.
Requests for continuances should first be made to opposing counsel (seeking an agreement). If no agreement is reached, opposing counsel and/or the opposing party, should receive a copy of the continuance request with sufficient time to respond to same.
Requests for continuances for matters specifically scheduled before Judge Trauger should be addressed to the Judge’s chambers by mail and copied to all counsel. No such requests will be considered unless in writing. Continuance requests must be sought as soon as possible. Counsel must have consent of all parties or good cause for any requests. The position of all other counsel or unrepresented parties to the request shall be stated in the letter making the request and copied contemporaneously to all counsel or pro se parties.
Only when documents are filed within 24 hours before a conference, hearing or trial is it necessary for courtesy copies of things filed with the appropriate office to be given to the Court or sent to chambers. Counsel are expected to file documents in a timely fashion so that they will be in the Court file when it is delivered to the Judge.
- Counsel of record or self-represented/pro se parties shall be well prepared and personally attend all court appearances, unless express permission otherwise has been granted by the Court, and all persons, including witnesses, shall be prompt, professionally attired, or otherwise appropriately attired for Court.
- There shall be appropriate civility and respect in the courtroom at all times. Judge Trauger expects all attorneys to be civil and courteous to each other and to all parties and witnesses. When in Court attorneys and parties should refer to each other, Court personnel and/or anyone else in the Courtroom by their last name or title only (Mr. Jones, Ms. Smith, defense counsel, etc.).
- The Court welcomes submission of legal authority, either by memo or by copies of relevant cases, statutes, etc. Bring an extra copy for Judge Trauger and his law clerk, and provide an extra copy of any such submissions to opposing counsel and/or parties that are unrepresented.
- The Court encourages the parties to exchange and pre-mark exhibits before a trial or hearing begins. Therefore, if they have not already done so the parties should arrive in Court early and confer with one another regarding the exhibits. It is the duty and responsibility of the litigants to bring sufficient copies of all exhibits to provide a copy to all the parties, any witness who needs to refer to same during the presentation of the case, and a copy for the Court.
- The Court believes that the parties should be able to stipulate to as many facts as possible in advance and therefore, at the beginning of the hearing or trial of the case or controversy, the parties should precisely set forth, to the Court, the following:
- Subject matter and nature of the dispute.
- Stipulations of fact which are necessary to develop a record, but which are not contested.
- A precise statement as to what is being contested and each party’s position regarding each matter contested.
- Objections should be stated formally and responded to formally. Objections should not be used as an opportunity to bicker or to make extraneous statements not specifically related to the objection.
- Counsel and all parties are expected to make a good faith effort to communicate with each other and discuss potential resolution or settlement terms prior to any hearing or trial. If the parties believe a conference with Judge Trauger would facilitate such resolutions, they should advise the Judge’s staff in advance or the Court at the time the hearing or trial is called from the list by Court.
When, following a hearing or settlement conference in any type of matter, the Court requests a proposed Order, the proposed Order shall be submitted to Judge Trauger’s Chambers by email in Microsoft Word format by counsel for the parties as they shall determine or as the Court shall designate. Proposed Orders shall be first copied to all other counsel or pro se parties. Judge Trauger is willing to consider additional terms of any proposed Order provided counsel are in agreement that those terms will help clarify the obligations and responsibilities of the parties.
Settlement conferences can be scheduled with Judge Trauger upon agreement of all the parties. A letter requesting a conference should be submitted to Chambers and copied to all counsel. Within five days of the settlement conference, all parties are to provide Chambers with a settlement conference memorandum. The memorandum should not exceed six pages in length and shall include:
- A Brief Summary of the Case
- The Current Status of the Litigation
- Undisputed Facts
- Disputed Facts
- Unique Legal Issues
- Last Demand and Offer
In all matters counsel should “do what you think is right” under the law, facts, rules and these procedures. If no resolution is reached and the matter proceeds to trial before Judge Trauger, he will reciprocate in kind.
Please take the time to consider Colin Powell’s Rules, 1-13.