Management Procedures |
Motion Practice | Discovery
Procedures | Misc Procedures
|Requirements for District Judge Jane J. Boyle
Judge Boyle follows the Northern District’s Local Civil and Criminal Rules. If the information set out below does not address your particular question, you should look to the Local Rules. Judge Boyle also notifies the parties by order of specific requirements that apply to each case, some of which modify the Local Rules. PLEASE NOTE: The following information is intended to acquaint counsel and litigants with the Judge’s typical procedures and requirements, not to take the place of common sense or of orders entered in specific cases.
Case Management Procedures:
Mandatory enrollment in the CM/ECF system - ALL cases pending in Judge Boyle’s court, including those involving prisoner and pro se litigants, must be enrolled in the Electronic Case Filing (“CM/ECF”) System. Only licensed attorneys may file electronically, thus even though cases involving pro se parties (including prisoners) will be enrolled in the CM/ECF System, non-attorneys will not be permitted to register or file electronically.
- Preliminary Pretrial Conference ("Rule 16 Conference") - The Judge does not typically conduct Rule 16 conferences but will schedule such a conference in cases where she finds it would aid in case management. The Judge will also schedule a Rule 16 conference when requested by the parties.
- Rule 26(f) Conference - The Court requires the parties to comply, in person, with the conference requirements of Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court does not require a face-to-face meeting in cases involving pro se or prisoner litigants.
If, at the time the Judge enters her scheduling proposal order (“Status Report Order”), the parties have already conducted a Rule 26(f) scheduling conference that fully complies with the one required by the order, they need not convene an additional conference. If the parties have already submitted a Rule 26(f) written report that outlines their proposed discovery plan, they must also submit the joint proposal required by the Status Report Order because it contains matters not required by Rule 26(f). The parties may, however, adopt portions of their written Rule 26(f) report by reference if they attach a photocopy of the report to the proposal required by the Status Report Order.
Status Report/Scheduling Order - Once all defendants have filed answers, the Judge issues a Status Report Order requiring the parties to meet face-to-face for the purpose of filing a joint status report. On receipt of the joint status report, the Judge issues a scheduling order. The scheduling order imposes deadlines on the parties and specifically modifies some local rules. Scheduling orders in patent cases are governed by Amended Miscellaneous Order No. 62 of this district, which may be found under the "Rules" tab on this website.
- Modification of the Scheduling Order - Except for the discovery deadline, the Court’s scheduling order cannot be modified by the parties without leave of court. The parties must file requests for extensions of time as motions, rather than as stipulations.
- Referrals to Magistrate Judges - Discovery matters are routinely referred to a magistrate judge.
- Mediation - Typically, the Judge refers civil cases to mediation unless the parties indicate, and the Court agrees, that mediation would not be fruitful. The parties are given an opportunity to agree upon a mediator and the Judge will appoint that mediator to the case. If the parties cannot agree, the Court will select a mediator for the case. Judge Boyle’s specific requirements for mediation will be set forth in a mediation order after designation of the mediator.
- Settlement Discussions - In her scheduling order, Judge Boyle directs the parties and their respective lead counsel to hold a face-to-face meeting to discuss settlement of the case at least ten days before the final pretrial conference. Within 7 days of this meeting, the parties must jointly prepare and file a written report detailing information about the meeting, such as whether meaningful progress toward settlement was made and a statement regarding the prospects for settlement.
- Requests for Hearings or Conferences - Judge Boyle will consider written requests for hearings or conferences with the Court provided they are made after conferencing with opposing counsel to attempt to reach agreement as to proposed hearing dates and times. If agreement has not been reached, the party seeking the hearing or conference should so notify the Court in their written request and copy opposing counsel with the request.
- Judge's Copies - In civil cases Judge Boyle requires that the parties provide the Court with judge's copies ONLY for all dispositive motions (e.g. motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment), responses thereto, replies, and supporting appendices and for any other document that exceeds twenty-five (25) pages in length. Hand-deliveries must be made to the clerk's office at 1100 Commerce Street, Room 1452, Dallas, Texas 75242, must be enclosed in a sealed envelope that bears the name of the judge to who the judge's copy is directed, and must identify itself as a "Judge's Copy."
- Motion Practice:
Requirements for Specific Motions:
- Summary Judgment - The time for filing motions for summary judgment set forth in the local rules is modified by the Judge’s scheduling order. Judge Boyle strictly follows the local rules with respect to the content of summary judgment motions and responses as well as the requirements for briefing and appendices. Read the relevant local civil rules before submitting a motion for summary judgment or response thereto.
- Motions to Dismiss - Do not combine a motion to dismiss and an answer in one document. If a motion to dismiss becomes moot due to the filing of an amended complaint, the moving party must notify the Court.
- Continuance - See Local Rule 40.1.
- In Limine - A motion in limine must be confined to matters actually in dispute. (No boilerplate motions should be filed). The Judge’s scheduling order establishes a deadline for filing a motion in limine.
- Withdrawal of Counsel - See Local Rule 83.12. The Judge requires an attorney seeking to withdraw to comply fully with the requirements of Local Rule 83.12. The Judge strongly disfavors motions to withdraw in cases where withdrawal would affect the trial date, the discovery process, or the dispositive motion deadline.
- Hearings on Motions - In most circumstances, Judge Boyle makes a ruling based upon briefs; however, the parties may make a written request for oral argument or the Judge may sua sponte schedule a hearing.
- Judge's Copies of Motions, Responses etc. - See ¶ I. K., supra.
- Proposed Orders - Proposed orders are required to be submitted with every motion. (modification to Local Rule 7.1(c)). A proposed order must be submitted as an attachment to the corresponding motion via CM/ECF. In addition, the proposed orders must also be separately submitted via e-mail in a WordPerfect or Word compatible format as instructed in the CM/ECF system’s "Proposed Orders" Event. The proposed orders must be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the event that a Court Order requests that the parties submit a proposed order, the parties’ proposed order must comport with these rules; in other words there must be a notice or motion filed via CM/ECF to which the proposed order is electronically attached, and the proposed order must also be submitted in WordPerfect or Word format separately via email.
Note that the Court will not consider any documents, other than proposed orders which are emailed and also attached to the electronically-filed motion, sent to the email@example.com email address. The email containing the proposed order should not include any additional requests for relief, notices, or communications to the Court, but should instead simply state the case name and number, identify the party submitting the proposed order, and identify the electronically-filed document name and number for which the proposed order corresponds. Opposing counsel must be cc’d to the e-mail.
- Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)
- 26(a)(1) - Parties are to make initial disclosures no later than thirty days from the date of the Judge’s status report order.
- Formal Discovery - The discovery deadline is for completion of discovery. This means that all requests for discovery must be made so that responses are due no later than the deadline. The parties may agree to extend the discovery deadline, provided (i) the extension does not affect the trial setting, dispositive motions deadline, challenges to experts deadline, or pretrial submission dates; and (ii) written notice of the extension is given to the Court.
- Filing Discovery Materials - Parties are to follow Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5(d) and Local Rule 5.2.
- Scheduling Order - THE MOST CRITICAL COMPONENT OF SUCCESSFUL TRIAL PREPARATION IN JUDGE BOYLE’S COURT IS TO READ HER SCHEDULING ORDER WHICH DETAILS HER PRETRIAL REQUIREMENTS.
- Rule 26(a)(3) Pretrial Disclosures - Per the scheduling order, parties are required to make the disclosures required by Rule 26(a)(3)(A)-(B) approximately fifty days before the trial setting. Within 14 days thereafter, a party must serve and file a list disclosing any objections, together with the grounds therefor, to: the use of any witnesses (except for Daubert objections) identified under Rule 26(a)(3)(A)(i); the use under Rule 32(a) of a deposition designated by another party under Rule 26(a)(3)(A)(ii); and the admissibility of materials identified under Rule 26(a)(3)(A)(iii). Objections not so disclosed, other than objections under Rules 402 and 403 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, are waived unless excused by the Court for good cause. (Daubert motions are filed separately by a deadline set in the scheduling order well in advance of trial).
- Pretrial Materials - The Court’s scheduling order sets a deadline (usually thirty days in advance of trial) for filing pretrial materials. The scheduling order also details the Judge’s requirements for each pretrial filing including the pretrial order, the witness and exhibit lists, deposition designations, jury instructions, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, motions in limine, voir dire, and trial briefs. Failing to timely file pretrial materials could result in waiving the right to present those materials at trial.
- Exchanging Exhibits - No later than three days before trial the parties must exchange a complete set of marked exhibits (including demonstrative exhibits) with opposing counsel (except for large or voluminous items that cannot be easily reproduced).
- Proposed Jury Instructions/Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law - The Judge relies upon the Fifth Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions and applicable state law pattern jury instructions. Requested jury instructions or proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law must be annotated with relevant Fifth Circuit authority or applicable state authority.
- Pretrial Conference - Each party shall be represented by at least one attorney who will conduct the trial and who has authority to enter into stipulations and admissions that would facilitate the admission of evidence and reduce the time and expense of trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 16 (c), (d). Parties should be prepared to address the following issues:
- Pre-admission of exhibits by agreement of the parties;
- Pretrial motions and objections, including objections to witness and exhibit lists, deposition designations and motions in limine. (Parties should be prepared to present legal authority with respect to disputed legal issues);
- Potential amendments to the proposed pretrial order;
- Timing of the trial;
- Possible bifurcation of liability and damages phases of the case;
- Courtroom decorum and trial procedures; and
- Any other issue relevant to the trial of the case.
- Electronic Equipment in the Courtroom - Counsel may use ELMOs, slides, computers, etc. for use in displaying evidence to the jury; however, the parties must provide their own equipment which must be set up prior to the commencement of trial. Arrange a time to set up equipment with the Court Administrator, Rod Reynolds, (214/753-2748).
- Voir Dire - The Judge conducts a portion of the voir dire. The attorneys are given approximately fifteen minutes for follow-up questions. Follow up questions are not instructions on the law or arguments by counsel. Per the scheduling order, attorneys are required to submit written questions in advance of trial that they would like the Court to ask of the panel. On completion of voir dire, if any jurors have indicated a potential bias, the Judge will question jurors individually, outside the presence of the other panel members.
Communications With the Court:
- Requests for Extensions and Continuances - All requests for extensions of time and continuances must be submitted by written motion to the Court after a conference with opposing counsel. Please do not call the Court to ask for an extension or continuance unless it is a rare emergency and then only after conferring with opposing counsel. The parties must file requests for extensions of time as motions, rather than as stipulations.
- Status of Pending Motions - Please do not call to inquire about the status of a pending motion. If there are extenuating circumstances regarding a pending motion that should be brought to the Court’s attention. Instead, please electronically file an appropriate notice or request for relief via the CM/ECF system.
- Phone Messages - When leaving phone messages with chambers, always include your name, the cause number of the case you are calling about, the identity of the party you represent, and the specific reason for your call.
E-mail Communications - DO NOT EMAIL THE COURT
. As addressed above in ¶ I. A., all cases pending in Judge Boyle’s court, including those involving prisoner and pro se
litigants, are required to enroll in the Electronic Case Filing (“CM/ECF”) System. Pro se
(non-prisoner) litigants must register for electronic transmission (e-mail) notice. Information about how to register for electronic noticing can be found on the Northern District of Texas website at: http://www.txnd.uscourts.gov/filing/ecf.html
The purpose of requiring electronic registration and notice is to ensure that all interested parties receive Court filings and that an official record of court filings be kept. Communications through e-mail, as opposed to electronic filing, do not contain the same safeguards, nor do they constitute official filings made as part of the record. Accordingly, under no circumstances
may a party request relief or send other communications or notices to the Court via e-mail. Only
proposed orders sent to the Boyle Orders email address, as outlined above in ¶ II. H., will be reviewed. All other emails sent to Court staff or the Boyle Orders or Boyle Clerk email addresses will be disregarded
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