Rule 16. Pretrial conferences, scheduling, and management conferences.

(a) Pretrial conferences. In any action, the court in its discretion or upon motion of a party, may direct the attorneys for the parties and any unrepresented parties to appear before it for a conference or conferences before trial for such purposes as:

(a)(1) expediting the disposition of the action;

(a)(2) establishing early and continuing control so that the case will not be protracted for lack of management;

(a)(3) discouraging wasteful pretrial activities;

(a)(4) improving the quality of the trial through more thorough preparation;

(a)(5) facilitating the settlement of the case; and

(a)(6) considering all matters as may aid in the disposition of the case.

(b) Scheduling and management conference and orders. In any action, in addition to any other pretrial conferences that may be scheduled, the court, upon its own motion or upon the motion of a party, may conduct a scheduling and management conference. The attorneys and unrepresented parties shall appear at the scheduling and management conference in person or by remote electronic means. Regardless whether a scheduling and management conference is held, on motion of a party the court shall enter a scheduling order that governs the time:

(b)(1) to join other parties and to amend the pleadings;

(b)(2) to file motions; and

(b)(3) to complete discovery.

The scheduling order may also include:

(b)(4) modifications of the times for disclosures under Rules 26(a) and 26(e)(1) and of the extent of discovery to be permitted;

(b)(5) the date or dates for conferences before trial, a final pretrial conference, and trial; and

(b)(6) provisions for preservation, disclosure or discovery of electronically stored information;

(b)(7) any agreements the parties reach for asserting claims of privilege or of protection as trial-preparation material after production; and

(b)(8) any other matters appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

Unless the order sets the date of trial, any party may and the plaintiff shall, at the close of all discovery, certify to the court that the case is ready for trial. The court shall schedule the trial as soon as mutually convenient to the court and parties. The court shall notify parties of the date of trial and of any pretrial conference.

(c) Final pretrial or settlement conferences. In any action where a final pretrial conference has been ordered, it shall be held as close to the time of trial as reasonable under the circumstances. The conference shall be attended by at least one of the attorneys who will conduct the trial for each of the parties, and the attorneys attending the pretrial, unless waived by the court, shall have available, either in person or by telephone, the appropriate parties who have authority to make binding decisions regarding settlement.

(d) Sanctions. If a party or a party's attorney fails to obey a scheduling or pretrial order, if no appearance is made on behalf of a party at a scheduling or pretrial conference, if a party or a party's attorney is substantially unprepared to participate in the conference, or if a party or a party's attorney fails to participate in good faith, the court, upon motion or its own initiative, may take any action authorized by Rule 37(b)(2).

Advisory Committee Notes