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RULES OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE APPLICABLE IN CRIMINAL CASES FILED IN SUPERIOR COURT

 

[Editor’s note: The rules that follow were, prior to October 1, 2013, titled Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire. Effective October 1, 2013, these rules applied only in criminal cases filed in Superior Court and in domestic relations cases filed in the Cheshire County Superior Court. Effective December 16, 2013 these rules apply only in criminal cases filed in Superior Court. For civil cases filed or pending in Superior Court on or after October 1, 2013, see the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Civil Actions.]

SUPERIOR COURT RULES

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE SCREENING PANELS (RSA 519-B)

Rule 1.  At the time the Writ of Summons is entered with the Court, counsel for the plaintiff shall also provide a copy of the Writ to the Superior Court Center.

Rule 2.  All physicians and lawyers who serve as panel members shall provide the Superior Court Center with a curriculum vitae and/or detailed summary of their educational and professional background and practice.

Rule 3.  At least 10 days prior to the panel structuring conference, counsel shall submit to the appropriate Superior Court and directly to the Panel Chair, a proposed joint 519-B Scheduling Conference Order.  If approved by the Panel Chair, the conference may be cancelled.  If not approved, or if there remain unresolved issues, the conference will proceed as scheduled.

Rule 4.  The Chair of the Panel has authority to extend deadlines and otherwise exercise discretion over pre-hearing and hearing matters to ensure a fair determination by the Panel.

Rule 5.  519-B Panel Hearing shall be scheduled within 6 months of the return date unless extended for good cause by the Chairperson as more particularly provided in RSA 519-B:4, II and VI.

Rule 6.  Panel Hearing shall take place at least 90 days before the anticipated or scheduled trial date unless the parties agree otherwise, or for good cause shown.

Rule 7.  Witness Lists

          a.  Within 10 days after the date identified for disclosure of defendantís experts, all parties shall send directly to each panel member and to the Superior Court Center, a list of all witnesses, including experts, who may offer testimony or evidence at the panel hearing, whether by live testimony, by report, by transcript, or otherwise.  This list shall be provided to each panel member on the standard witness list form.  Panel members will be required to identify any possible conflict(s) by completing the witness list and sending it to the Superior Court Center within 10 days of receipt.

          b.  The witness list provided to the panel shall include the names, addresses, and practice affiliations, if any, of all potential witnesses, with sufficient detail to enable each panel member to determine whether he or  she has any conflict of interest.  This list shall not include any reference to substance of the witnessesí anticipated testimony.

Rule 8.  Length of Panel Hearing

Expected length of proceeding (excluding deliberations):  As a general rule, hearings shall be held to conclusion within one day unless at the structuring conference or at the hearing, the Chairperson in his or her discretion determines that justice and fairness require additional time.

Rule 9.  Submissions 30 days prior to hearing:

          a.  Special procedural requests

          b.  Pre-hearing motions

          c.  Final witness list, expert and non-expert.  The witness list shall include the witnessís name, address, and whether the witnessís testimony will be submitted by deposition, report, affidavit or live testimony.

          d.  Submissions shall be mailed to the Chairperson and all counsel of record and pro se parties, if any.

Rule 10.  Submissions 10 days prior to the panel hearing:

          a.  A brief summary statement by each party

          b.  Medical records

          c.  Expert opinions submitted by deposition, signed written reports, affidavit, or pre-trial disclosures signed by the expert

          d.  Witness deposition transcripts

          e.  Submissions shall be mailed to the Chairperson, panel members all counsel of record and pro se parties, if any.

          Counsel and parties are directed to coordinate their efforts to ensure that no more than one set of medical records and one deposition transcript for each deponent is provided to each of the panel members.  In addition, each counsel shall be permitted to submit excerpted or highlighted portions of depositions.

Rule 11.  Allocation of time at the Panel Hearing

          a.  In advance of the panel hearing, counsel and pro se parties, if any, shall attempt to reach agreement regarding the allocation of time among the parties for presentation at hearing.  If the parties cannot agree, they may request a conference in advance of the hearing with the Panel Chair to determine time allocation.

          b.  The Panel Chair will allocate fairly the time allowed for each presentation, which may include limitations on the time allowed for direct and cross-examination, taking into account factors such as, the nature of the witnessí testimony, the number of parties, and the length of the hearing.

Rule 12.  Offers of Proof and Expert Opinions

          a.  Offers of Proof Ė Except by agreement of the parties, offers of proof, including expert opinions offered by oral representations of counsel and written statements unsigned by the expert, are presumptively inadmissible as evidence.

          b.  Expert Opinions Ė Expert opinion evidence shall be permitted by live or video testimony, deposition transcript, written report, affidavit, or  disclosure signed by the expert.

Rule 13.  Waiver of Panel Hearing

          Any agreement to waive the panel hearing shall be received by the Superior Court Center no later than 10 days prior to hearing except for good cause shown.  Any notification of waiver less than 10 days may, in the discretion of the Panel Chair, on recommendation to the Chief Justice of the Superior Court, subject the party or parties responsible for the late notification to fines and/or expenses.

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