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Pre-trial order for Aetna-Humana: What does it say?

Today, Judge John Bates (pictured) filed a pre-trial order for the trial of Aetna and Humana, the subjects of a merger that is being challenged by the U.S. government. The order stipulates a schedule for testimony, rules for witnesses and exhibits, and when we can expect certain documents to be filed. We knew already that the trial would begin on December 5 and go through December 21. Below are some highlights from the order that might be of interest to consumer advocates who are following this trial.

  • A pre-trial conference will take place on December 2 at 10 AM.

  • The trial will begin at 9:15 AM and recess at 5:15 PM each weekday.

  • There will be 6.5 hours of testimony daily, including witnesses and cross-examination, for a total of 84.5 hours of testimony.

  • Plaintiffs (United States, et al) get 47 hours and defendants (Aetna, Humana) get 37.5 hours to present their cases. This is because the burden of proof rests on the United States.

  • Opening statements will be no longer than 45 minutes.

  • Rulings on remaining objections to deposition designations will be made at pre-trial conference on December 2.

  • Total number of trial exhibits will be limited to 625 for each side.

  • Written testimony will be submitted by December 2. All witnesses who submit written testimony will appear for cross examination.

  • Each side will file a post-trial brief by December 29 which is limited to 175 pages in length.

  • Closing arguments will take place at 2 PM on December 30 and each side will be allotted 90 minutes.

A decision will be rendered by Judge Bates in mid-January.

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