H. HEARING OF APPEALS
The Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or Court of Criminal Appeals may direct counsel for the parties to appear before the court or a judge thereof for a prehearing conference to consider the simplification of the issues and such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the proceeding by the court. The court or judge shall make an order that recites the action taken at the conference and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered and that limits the issues to those not disposed of by admissions or agreements of counsel, and such order when entered controls the subsequent course of the proceeding unless modified. Modification shall be freely granted to permit determination of the proceeding on its merits if no prejudice results.
Advisory Commission Comments.
The provisions of this rule for a pretrial conference were considered to be a potentially valuable tool to the appellate court for simplifying complex appeals in a manner similar to the pretrial conference used at the trial level. In this connection, Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 16 should be consulted. While this rule will not be used in routine cases, it is expected to be helpful in protracted and complex litigation. Although designated as a “prehearing conference,”it is contemplated that the conference could be convened by the appellate court at any stage of the proceedings when the court concludes that a conference would be of value. As is the case with pretrial conferences, those matters agreed upon or admitted by counsel at the conference are binding upon the parties, though modification should be freely granted to permit determination of the proceeding on its merits if no prejudice results.