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Rule 12-B. Scheduling Order: Prehearing Evaluation Conference.

(1) The processing of a case shall begin upon the filing of the case with the clerk of the supreme court. The parties shall await a scheduling order, a prehearing evaluation conference order, a declination of acceptance order, or an order of summary disposition. The clerk shall issue a scheduling order as soon as practicable, unless a prehearing evaluation conference has been arranged, in which instance the scheduling order may be entered as part of the conference order.

Scheduling orders may, as appropriate to the circumstances, set forth the dates on or before which the record, the opening brief, the opposing brief, and the appendices in the briefs or a separate appendix shall be filed; set forth whether a transcript shall be prepared and the extent of any such transcript; and may set forth such other matters as shall be deemed desirable or necessary. The court may, in a scheduling order or other order, define or limit the issues which the court will consider on the appeal.

(2) The clerk may direct the lawyers to attend a prehearing evaluation conference to be held as soon as practicable before a justice of the supreme court or a retired justice designated by the chief justice or before the clerk, deputy clerk, or staff attorney to consider the possibility of settlement, the simplification of issues, and any other matters that the designated justice or the clerk, deputy clerk, or staff attorney may deem to be helpful in expediting the processing of the case. The clerk may also direct the lawyers to arrange for their clients' attendance at the conference or for the lawyers to attend with authority in writing from their clients to settle the case.

At the conclusion of the conference, the designated justice, clerk, deputy clerk, or staff attorney shall enter a conference order that shall recite the action taken at the conference and the agreements made by the parties on any of the matters considered, and that shall limit the issues. The order shall control the subsequent course of the case, but may be modified to prevent manifest injustice.

(3) If a party or the lawyer for the party fails to comply with this rule or to comply with a conference order, the supreme court may impose sanctions or dismiss the case, or both.

(4) The clerk may direct that a prehearing evaluation conference be held at any time prior to oral argument or submission of a case on the briefs and without oral argument.

(5) The prehearing evaluation conference justice may decide not to hear or to take part in the deliberations on, and disposition of, the case on the merits.

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