Judges - Senior District Judge A. Joe Fish


Case Management Procedures | Motion Practice | Discovery | Trial Procedures | Misc Procedures | Law Clerk/Extern

Requirements for Senior District Judge A. Joe Fish
(Updated July 15, 2013)


I. Case Management Procedures

  1. Preliminary Pretrial Conference ("Rule 16 Conference") - The judge does not conduct a preliminary pretrial conference.

  2. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f)Conference - No Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) conference is required.

  3. 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.

  4. Referrals to Magistrate Judges - Discovery matters are routinely referred to a magistrate judge.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Answer - An answer and a motion shall not be combined in the same pleading.

  8. Judge's Copy of Documents Filed By Electronic Means - Judge Fish requires a judge's copy of each document filed.


II. Motion Practice

  1. Requirements for Specific Motions

    1. Summary Judgment - The time for filing a motion for summary judgment is modified by the judge’s scheduling order.

    2. Motion to Dismiss - Do not combine a motion to dismiss and an answer in one document.

    3. Continuance - Any request that a trial date be modified must be made in writing to the judge before the deadline for completion of discovery.

    4. In Limine - A motion in limine must be confined to matters actually in dispute. The judge’s scheduling order establishes a deadline for filing a motion in limine. A brief is not required.

    5. Response - Do not submit a response and a motion together in one document.

    6. Other - The judge typically requires that all dispositive motions be filed at least 100 days before the date set for trial.

  2. Hearing - The judge rarely grants oral argument on a motion.


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III. Discovery

  1. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)

    1. 26(a)(1): Parties are to make initial disclosures within thirty days of the date of the judge’s status report order and file notice of these disclosures with the clerk.

    2. 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 the objection.

  2. Filing Discovery Material - Parties are to follow Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d) and Local Civil Rule 5.2.


IV. Trial Procedures

  1. Marking and Exchanging Exhibits - Parties may use their own exhibit stickers.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Courtroom Decorum - See Order Regarding Conduct of Trial issued before or at the time of the pretrial conference.

  5. Electronic Equipment in the Courtroom - Contact judicial assistant, Eleanore Piwoni, at 214/753-2310.

  6. Other - Not applicable.


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V. Miscellaneous Procedures

  1. 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 stapled to the pleading. Large volume documents, such as an appendix, must be punched and Ecco fastened if it is too large to staple together.

  2. 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.

    1. Procedural Information - An attorney may address a procedural question that cannot be answered by the federal rules of procedure, local rules, or the judge’s scheduling order to Judicial Assistant. If the Judicial Assistant cannot answer a question, the attorney will be directed to appropriate law clerk.

    2. Scheduling Information - An attorney may direct questions regarding cases to Eleanore Piwoni, Judicial Assistant, at 214/753-2310.

    3. 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.

  3. Faxed Document - A faxed document will not be accepted, including any faxed document that is part of an attachment or exhibit.

  4. Other - Another party may sign on behalf of the attorney if agreed to by the attorney.


VI. Law Clerk/Extern Positions

  1. Job Requirements - An applicant must submit a resume, transcript of grades, writing sample, and two letters of recommendation.

  2. Application Procedures - Applications may be submitted after the first of every year and no later than March 1.


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