WASHINGTON (AP) _ The new judge in the Microsoft case on Wednesday ordered lawyers to a hearing Sept. 21 to chart the next course for the protracted antitrust case.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who was assigned the landmark case Friday, also ordered the Justice Department and Microsoft to file a joint report by Sept. 14 outlining proposals for bringing in new witnesses and seeking additional documents.

Citing the need to expedite the proceedings, Kollar-Kotelly's order sets the stage for the two sides to determine what additional information they will seek from each other and propose a schedule for ending the case.

The order came shortly after the Justice Department filed a motion asking Kollar-Kotelly to call a meeting with the two sides.

The move illustrates the government's resolve in pushing ahead with the long-festering case. A federal appeals court denied Microsoft's bid to delay the case and sent it back to the district court last week.

Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee randomly chosen by computer to take over the case on Friday, will decide how Microsoft should be punished for illegally trying to squelch its software competitors.

She replaces Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who had ordered Microsoft to be split into two separate companies but was later removed from the case. An appeals court upheld his finding of antitrust violations but overturned his breakup order.

Microsoft has also appealed to the Supreme Court.

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On the Net:

Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/

District Court: http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/