Judges - Chief District Judge Jorge A. Solis

 
Requirements for Chief District Judge Jorge A. Solis
(Updated November, 2014)

 

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

    Parties must comply with the Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) conference requirement; however, the judge typically enlarges the reporting deadline.

  3. Status Report/Scheduling Order

    Once an answer has been filed, the judge issues an initial order requiring lead counsel for each party (or designated attorney with appropriate authority) to meet face-to-face within the time required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) at a mutually agreeable time and location to discuss the matters specified in the order and in Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f). If the case does not settle, counsel must file a joint proposal that typically must address each of the following:
    1. a report on the progress made at the meeting and the present status of settlement negotiations;
    2. proposed deadlines for joinder of parties, amendments, motions, and expert witness designations;
    3. a proposed plan and schedule for discovery, including a time limit to complete discovery, a proposal for limitations, if any, to be placed on discovery
    4. a proposed trial date, estimated number of days required for trial, and whether a jury has been demanded;
    5. whether the parties are considering mediation or arbitration to resolve this litigation and, if not, why not;
    6. any other proposals regarding scheduling and discovery that the parties believe will facilitate expeditious and orderly preparation for trial; and
    7. any other matters relevant to the status and disposition of this case.
  1.  

    The parties must also convey their positions on the advisability of referring the case for alternative dispute resolution.

    After receipt and consideration of the proposal, the judge issues a scheduling order. The order establishes deadlines on the parties and specifically modifies some local rules. The judge issues a separate trial setting order that establishes deadlines for the filing of a joint pretrial order, witness lists, exhibit lists, and filing motions in limine.

  2. Referrals to Magistrate Judges

    In their joint proposal, parties must specifically advise the court of their positions concerning referring the case to a magistrate judge for trial by consent (see I.C. above).

  3. Settlement Discussion

    Lead counsel must hold a face-to-face meeting to discuss settlement of the case as directed in the judge's initial order. A report on the status of settlement negotiations must be filed on the same day the joint pretrial order is filed.

  4. Pretrial Order

    The joint proposed pretrial order must, in addition to the requirements of Local Civil Rule 16.4, contain a list of witnesses who may be called by each party in its case-in-chief. The list must state, for each witness, their name and address, a brief narrative summary of the testimony to be covered, whether the witness has been deposed, and whether the witness is "probable", "possible", "expert", or "record custodian". A copy of this list must be furnished to the court reporter prior to trial.

    Trial briefs may be filed with the pretrial order, but are not required unless specifically requested by the court.

  5. Pretrial Conference

    Pretrial conferences are held two weeks before trial.

  6. Judge's Copy of Documents Filed By Electronic Means

    Chief Judge Solis requires a judge's copy of any filing, including attachments and exhibits, more than 50 pages in length. Proposed orders must be emailed, in Word format, to Solis_Orders@txnd.uscourts.gov.

II. Motion Practice

  1. Requirements for Specific Motions

    1. Summary Judgment
      The time for filing a motion for summary judgment is typically modified by the judge's scheduling order.
    2. Continuance
      Continuances will only be granted upon a showing of good cause.
    3. In Limine
      A motion in limine usually must be filed and served on opposing parties 14 days before the date set for trial. A response to a motion in limine must be filed and served at least seven days before the date of the trial setting. Replies to responses are not permitted.
    4. Other
      The judge's scheduling order provides deadlines regarding dispositive motions. The local civil rules apply regarding other motion practice issues.
  2. Hearing
  1. The judge does not permit oral argument on a motion.

 

III. Discovery

  1. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)
    1. 26(a)(1): Parties are required to make initial disclosures as required by the Federal Rules, unless the parties stipulate otherwise.
    2. 26(a)(2): Parties must comply with 26(a)(2) by the date specified in the judge's scheduling order, but must not file the disclosures with the clerk's office.
  2. Filing Discovery Material
  1. Parties are to follow Fed. R. Civ. P. 5 and Local Civil Rule 5.2.

IV. Trial Procedures

  1. Marking and Exchanging Exhibits

    Parties are to follow Local Civil Rule 26.2(a) and (c), except that the rule must be complied with no later than 14 days before the date of trial. Contact Chief Judge Solis' Court Reporter, Shawn McRoberts, for specifics at 214/753-2349.

  2. Voir Dire

    The judge typically allows counsel to conduct voir dire. However, in some circumstances, the length of the case may dictate that only the judge conduct voir dire. The amount of time is determined by the judge on a case-by-case basis.

  3. Proposed Jury Instructions/Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

    Each party's proposed jury instructions or findings of fact and conclusions of law must be filed at the same time the joint pretrial order is filed. The proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law must be annotated.

  4. Courtroom Decorum

    Professionalism in the courtroom is required. See LR 83.4 and LR 83. 16.

  5. Electronic Equipment in the Courtroom

    Counsel must provide their own equipment.

 

V. Miscellaneous Procedures

  1. Courtesy Copy of Pleading
    Counsel may hand carry a courtesy copy of a pleading to chambers. This does not obviate the need to file an original and one copy with the clerk's office.
  2. Telephone Call to Chambers
    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 Kevin Frye, Court Coordinator, at 214/753-2346.
    2. Scheduling Information - An attorney may direct a question regarding scheduling to Kevin Frye, Court Coordinator, at 214/753-2346.
    3. Status of Motion/Proposed Order - An attorney should direct a question regarding the status of a motion or proposed order to the Clerk's Office at 214-753-2633. If the docket clerk cannot answer the question, contact the Court Coordinator, Kevin Frye, at 214/753-2346.
  3. Faxed Document
    Faxed copies will be accepted as long as there is at least one original signature on a document.

VI. Law Clerk/Extern Positions

  1. Job Requirements

    Law Clerks: Judicial law clerk applications are to be submitted after the first of the year for the following term. Interviews are scheduled in March.

    Law Clerk Interns: Applications for interns who are in law school are accepted for Spring and Summer semesters.

    Externs: Externs must have gone through the Clerk's Office extern program.

  2. Application Procedures
  1. An applicant must submit a resume, transcript, writing sample, and three letters of recommendation.

 

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