DISTRICT COURT HIGHLIGHTS

 
Local Rule Revisions

The District Court has posted Revised Local Rules with comments accepted through Sept. 30, 2010. While many of the proposed revisions simply acknowledge the advent of electronic filing and communications, members of the bar may wish to note a few of the more substantive changes.

  • Rule 56.1 - Changing the response time for suggestions in opposition to summary judgment to 21 days from 30 days in accord with recent changes to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56.
  • Rule 79.2 - Codifying current practice of attorney retention as to custody of exhibits after trial.
  • Rule 83.8 - Simplifying the procedure for an appearance before the court by a law student or intern/summer associate.

View detailed changes at http://www.mow.uscourts.gov/announce/lr_changes_9_2010.pdf


Time Moves Forward―Civil Accelerated Docket Ends

The Federal Judicial Center featured the WDMO civil accelerated docket in a 1985 publication regarding innovations in court administration. The FJC noted that our civil accelerated docket (AD) was one of the finest case management tools in the federal judiciary. One portion of the calendar, known on the street as the “rocket docket,” was highlighted.

As taken from the publication: “One of the widely accepted tenets of case management is that a firm trial date is the key element in moving a case to prompt disposition. Firm trial dates are meaningless, however, if they are not supported by adequate judicial resources.”

The publication also noted: “It was the cooperation of members of the WDMO bench and bar that made the semi-annual civil accelerated docket one of the most successful case management tools of its time.”

During the past 25 years, an average of approximately 75 percent of cases placed on the AD were removed from the court’s docket by one of the following: continuation for reason, dismissal, settlement or trial. During the height of AD participation, as many as 80-plus cases would begin on the three-week docket.

As we bid farewell to the WDMO civil accelerated docket, extra congratulations should be given to all those attorneys who ever endured two trials in that three-week period of time, to those judges who were in trial for three weeks straight and to the court staff who managed the organized chaos.

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