This Court strongly urges parties to exhaust settlement possibilities at the earliest practicable point in the litigation. Parties appearing before the Court should expect to be continually asked about the settlement status of the case and invited to attend settlement conferences with the Court. Parties who desire a settlement conference with the Court should request one in open court or by telephone from the minute clerk. Settlement conferences are held in chambers as specified in open court. In bench trials settlement conference are usually referred to another judge or magistrate.