Management Procedures | Motion Practice | Discovery | Trial Procedures | Misc Procedures | Law Clerk/Extern
Senior District Judge A. Joe Fish
I. Case Management Procedures
- Preliminary Pretrial Conference ("Rule
16 Conference") - The judge does not conduct a preliminary
- Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f)Conference - No Fed.
R. Civ. P. 26(f) conference is required.
- Status Report/Scheduling Order - Once an
answer has been filed, the judge issues a status report order
requiring parties to file a joint status report. On receipt of
the joint status report, the judge issues a scheduling order.
The order imposes deadlines on the parties and specifically modifies
some local rules.
- Referrals to Magistrate Judges - Discovery
matters are routinely referred to a magistrate judge.
- Settlement Discussion - Parties and their
respective lead counsel must hold a face-to-face meeting to discuss
settlement of the case at least 10 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 of settlement.
- Pretrial Order - In addition to the requirements
of Local Civil Rule 16.4, parties must also include the estimated
length of trial and whether the case is jury or non-jury.
- Answer - An answer and a motion shall not be combined
in the same pleading.
- Judge's Copy of Documents Filed By Electronic Means - Judge Fish requires a judge's copy of each document filed.
II. Motion Practice
- Requirements for Specific Motions
- Summary Judgment - The time for filing
a motion for summary judgment is modified by the judges
- Motion to Dismiss - Do not combine a motion to dismiss
and an answer in one document.
- Continuance - Any request that a trial
date be modified must be made in writing to the judge before
the deadline for completion of discovery.
- In Limine - A motion
in limine must be confined to matters actually in dispute.
The judges scheduling order establishes a deadline for
filing a motion in limine. A brief is not required.
- Response - Do not submit a response
and a motion together in one document.
- Other - The judge
typically requires that all dispositive motions be filed at
least 100 days before the date set for trial.
- Hearing - The judge rarely grants oral argument
on a motion.
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- Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)
- 26(a)(1): Parties are to make initial disclosures
within thirty days of the date of the judges status
report order and file notice of these disclosures with the
- 26(a)(3): Parties are to exchange witness and
exhibit lists as required by Local Civil Rule 26.2. Witnesses
must be classified as probable, possible, expert, or record
custodian. The name and address of each witness and a brief
narrative summary of the testimony to be covered by each witness
is required. The exhibit list must be accompanied by a written
statement signed by counsel for the party or parties not offering
the exhibit as to each exhibit shown on the list, whether
the party or parties agree to the admissibility of the exhibit,
identifying the nature and legal basis of any legal objection
to admissibility, and identifying the party or parties urging
- Filing Discovery Material - Parties are
to follow Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d) and Local Civil Rule 5.2.
IV. Trial Procedures
- Marking and Exchanging Exhibits - Parties may use their own exhibit stickers.
- Voir Dire - The judge
conducts voir dire. Attorneys may submit written questions in
advance. On completion of voir dire, the judge typically asks
if additional issues should be addressed.
- Proposed Jury Instructions/Findings of Fact
and Conclusions of Law - Requested jury
instructions or proposed finding of fact and conclusions of law
must be annotated.
- Courtroom Decorum - See
Order Regarding Conduct of Trial issued before or at the time
of the pretrial conference.
- Electronic Equipment in the Courtroom - Contact
judicial assistant, Eleanore Piwoni, at 214/753-2310.
- Other - Not applicable.
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V. Miscellaneous Procedures
- Judge's Copy of Pleading - Do not deliver judge's copies to chambers unless the case is electronic. If the case is electronic, a judge's copy should be delivered to chambers within three days. A Notice of Electronic Filing should be attached to the pleading. Large volume documents, such as an appendix, must be punched and Ecco fastened if it is too large to staple together.
- Telephone Call to Chambers - All calls come through the main number (214/753-2310).
If the Judicial Assistant cannot answer the questions, she will
direct the calls to the appropriate law clerk.
- Procedural Information - An attorney may address
a procedural question that cannot be answered by the federal
rules of procedure, local rules, or the judges scheduling
order to Judicial Assistant. If the Judicial Assistant cannot
answer a question, the attorney will be directed to appropriate
- Scheduling Information - An attorney may direct
questions regarding cases to Eleanore Piwoni, Judicial
Assistant, at 214/753-2310.
- Status of Motion/Proposed Order - Call chambers
at 214/753-2310. If the Judicial Assistant cannot answer the
question, it will be directed to the appropriate law clerk.
- Faxed Document - A faxed document will not
be accepted, including any faxed document that is part of an attachment
- Other - Another party may sign on behalf
of the attorney if agreed to by the attorney.
VI. Law Clerk/Extern
- Job Requirements - An applicant must submit
a resume, transcript of grades, writing sample, and two letters
- Application Procedures - Applications
may be submitted after the first of every year and no later than
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