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Common Pleas Court Judges

Judge Ashley Kilbane

Courtroom: 19-C
Fax: 216-348-4035

John Thorne

(216) 443-8708

Staff Attorney:

Amy DeBellis

(216) 443-8618


On Common Pleas Bench Since: 2019
Admitted to Bar: 2009
College: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Law School: The John Marshall Law School

Litigation Preferences


Staff Attorney: Amy DeBellis


Phone: (216) 443-8618


Counsel and Pro Se Parties are expected to be familiar with the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules, this Court's Standing Civil Order, and any other orders of this Court.


Case Management Conferences. This Court holds Case Management Conferences by telephone. Before the Case Management Conference, the Parties are expected to follow the discovery procedures set for in Civ. R. 26(F), including conferring by telephone or in-person and submitting a joint proposed discovery and scheduling plan.


Discovery Disputes and Other Pre-Trial Issues: The Court strongly encourages the parties to attempt to resolve issues before seeking Court intervention. If after a good-faith attempt to resolve the issues a dispute remains, the parties should contact the Court’s staff attorney by email with a suggested date and time for a Zoom conference with the Court, and include a brief description of the issues to be discussed. Thereafter, the Court may order a briefing.



Motion Practice

Courtesy Copies: Where a document exceeds 50 pages, the parties shall provide a hard copy to the Court’s staff attorney. This applies to trial exhibits where the total page number for all exhibits exceed 50 pages, and upon filing any motion that exceeds 50 pages in length, including exhibits. The same applies for response and reply briefing. Failure to comply with this order may result in delay.

  • Excel Documents: if an attachment to a filing or trial exhibit includes an Excel document, an electronic copy in Excel format shall be emailed to the staff attorney.


Daubert or Expert-Related Motions in Limine: Any motion challenging purported expert testimony shall be filed by the Expert Motion deadline set by the Court. If no Expert Motion deadline was set, then any motion challenging purposed expert testimony shall be filed at least forty-five (45) days before trial. The party challenging the proposed expert testimony shall file a complete copy of the expert’s report(s) and complete deposition transcripts, if the expert was deposed. 


Privilege Logs and Privileged Documents:  Privilege logs shall be prepared via Microsoft Excel and submitted to both opposing counsel and the Court electronically in Excel format. The Excel file should, at a minimum, have the following column headings:

  • Document ID
  • Document Custodian
  • Date of Email/Document
  • Email Subject or Document Title
  • Title of Attachment to Email (the parties should try to submit attachments to emails as one Document ID with the email, or else note and cross-reference the Document ID of the email and attachment)
  • From and To columns
  • Description (sufficient to provide notice of the content of the document, or of the content redacted from the document, to opposing party)
  • Type of Privilege Claimed
  • Basis for Objection/No Objection
  • Court’s Ruling.

Opposing counsel shall review the privilege log and note where there is no objection or the basis of their objection. The party claiming the privilege will then review the objections and submit to the Court only the remaining objections. Where privileged documents are submitted for in-camera review, each document shall be stamped with Document ID, and the Court will instruct whether the documents are to be hand-delivered or emailed depending upon the number of pages.

Settlement Conference

Settlement Conferences. The Court holds settlement conferences by Zoom, unless the Court orders or the parties request an in-person settlement conference at least two weeks in advance. Unless ordered otherwise, only counsel and adjusters will be permitted on the Zoom call with Court. Clients, and adjusters not on the Zoom call, must be readily available to counsel by phone. Seven days before the settlement conference, each party shall provide the court with a brief statement outlining the claims to be discussed, the factual support of any disputes, and any offers or settlement discussion had to date. The settlement conference statements need not be filed, but instead emailed to the staff attorney.


Final Pretrial Conferences. As with Settlement Conferences, the Court holds final pretrial conferences by Zoom, unless the Court orders or the parties request an in-person final pretrial conference at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled date. The parties shall each file a final pretrial statement seven days before the final pretrial and shall include the following:

• A brief statement of facts and legal issues;
• Stipulations;
• List of witnesses with brief summary of expected testimony;
• List of exhibits expected to be used a trial;
• Any anticipated unique legal issues;
• An estimated length of trial;
• Any contemplated pretrial motions; and
• Special equipment or potential logistical requests.

The parties shall exchange trial exhibits no later than seven (7) days before trial. The final pretrial statement shall update the previously-provided settlement statement.

Calendaring and Continuances

Continuances: In the event that a party or all parties wish to extend a deadline or continue a hearing, court conference, or trial, the party or parties should file a motion that states whether the motion is joint, unopposed, or opposed.



Motions in Limine. Motions in limine shall be filed twenty-one (21) days before the start of trial. Responses due pursuant to Civ. R. 6(c). No replies are permitted. After the deadline for responses, Counsel and pro se parties shall confer to resolve the motions in limine, and, at least (3) days prior to trial, the parties shall file a joint notice informing the Court which motions in limine are unopposed or resolved, and which remain opposed.


Depositions, audiovisual or transcripts, to be proffered at trial. Any party wishing to proffer deposition testimony at trial in lieu of the deponent's attendance shall exchange such deposition testimony by counsel at least thirty (30) days in advance of trial. The parties shall meet telephonically or in person to discuss any objections to the proffered testimony. If any disputes relating to the testimony remain after the good faith conference, the parties shall send hard copies of their respective designations with objections either annotated in the margins or outlined in a separate document to the Court's staff attorney at least fourteen (14) days in advance of trial. The parties may include a brief statement for context for the objections if necessary.


Jury Instructions and Interrogatories. Proposed jury instructions and jury interrogatories are due seven (7) days before trial. Counsel and pro se parties shall confer regarding jury instructions and interrogatories in order to submit a joint proposed set of jury instructions and interrogatories. The parties shall submit a joint proposed set of jury instructions to the Court's staff attorney at least one (1) day before trial. If any disagreement remains, the parties shall highlight disagreements to the Court. The proposed jury instructions and interrogatories shall be submitted in Microsoft Word format to the Court's staff attorney. Further, the parties are encouraged to submit a joint statement of the case to be read to the jury.


Trial Continuances. Counsel and pro se parties shall follow Sup. R. 41 and Local Rule 17 regarding continuance of trial.


Counsel and parties are to comply with this Court's orders and attend such hearings, conferences, and trial, as set by this Court. Failure to do so may result in sanctions, including but not limited to, dismissal pursuant to Rule 41(B)(1) or default judgment (as applicable).