Authority: As a retired Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court, Judge Mark Pfeiffer is authorized to conduct civil non-jury private trials in Rhode Island. See the Retired Justice Trial Act, R.I.G.L. § 8-17-1. The Rhode Island Supreme Court presently has under consideration rules to be used in effectuating private trials.

Initial Conference: An initial conference will be conducted to ascertain what discovery remains to be undertaken prior to trial and to schedule any hearings necessary to resolve any discovery issues. The conference will also be used to determine that jurisdiction for the matter to be scheduled is in the Superior Court and may properly be designated for a bench trial (including as necessary the waiver of jury trial if necessary). A pre-trial conference will then be conducted to address all scheduling and administrative issues, including without limitation the location and date(s) of all proceedings and the engagement of a court reporter. In that Judge Pfeiffer will be the trier of fact, no settlement discussions will be pursued by him unless the parties through counsel desire that he explore a possible resolution of the case. Counsel shall also agree in writing to the fees to be charged pursuant to the "Fee Schedule and Practice" section.

Trial: The trial shall proceed in accordance with the Rhode Island Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Evidence.

Decision: The Private Judge’s written decision shall be prepared and disseminated to counsel within three weeks of the completion of the trial and receipt of post-trial briefs.

Appellate Review: The proceedings and any judgment issued subsequent to such proceedings shall be subject to appeal to the Rhode Island Supreme Court