Judicial Preferences: Pretrial Motions

Does the Court prefer to have advanced bench copies of motions or memoranda?  

Yes, please.  The Court certainly appreciates courtesy copies of motions or memoranda when they are filed.  Informal copies may be sent by email to chambers, with adversary counsel being copied on the communication.   

Please note that the Court tries to prepare diligently for matters on the docket.  However, the Court is not typically notified when motions are filed.  As such, courtesy copies help the Court to be prepared for significant motions well ahead of a status conference.   

Does the Court prefer to have separate copies of exhibits that are offered during motion hearings?

Yes, please.  Of course, one object of any pretrial hearing is to help the Court understand the legal issues and the facts supporting the parties’ positions.   If an exhibit helps to establish the facts, it is also very helpful for the Court to have a copy of that exhibit, if only so that the Court can follow along with the witness’s testimony as it is being offered.     

The Court also requests that the party offering an exhibit also make a copy for the other party, absent any advanced agreement that such copies are not necessary.

Characterization of Opposing Arguments:  

The Court greatly discourages acerbic, sardonic, or disrespectful characterization of an adversary’s argument, whether in pleadings or in oral advocacy.    

These types of arguments are utterly unhelpful to the Court when assessing the merits of a legal issue.  They are also demeaning to the judicial process and are beneath the dignity of competent members of the bar.    

In the Court’s view, such arguments usually reflect more on the person of the advocate than on the efficacy of the adversary’s argument.  

Does the Court require the parties to consult with each other before filing a discovery motion?  

Yes, please.  Local Rule 6 requires that “[b]efore filing a motion to compel discovery, counsel shall seek to resolve each discovery dispute with adverse counsel.”    

As such, the Court will not grant a motion to dismiss or for sanctions relating to discovery issues unless the moving party has certified that he or she has first attempted to resolve the issues informally.

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