As this column’s focus is always federal civil procedure and practice, Magistrate Judge Denise LaRue’s contributions in this realm are significant, particularly considering her tenure was cut so short by her early passing.
Judge Robert L. Miller recently addressed a motion to reconsider a ruling denying in part a defense motion for summary judgment; the opinion provides good guidance on whether and when such motions are appropriate.
As the year begins, it is appropriate to get back to the basics. Subject matter jurisdiction is the starting point in every case in federal court, scrutinized from the outset by the district court and then the 7th Circuit. Yet in opinion after opinion common errors in complaints or removal notices are noted by these courts, particularly in diversity jurisdiction cases.
In the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, from time to time the federal bench has found it necessary to comment on deficient practitioner performance. A recent example also serves as a reminder of some basic principles in this age of phone conferences.
As an active participant in drafting and review of the Local Rule, this author has observed first-hand the careful, thoughtful and patient consideration by the court of the clear need for more lawyers to take on more pro bono cases in the court, and the balance of limits on an individual lawyer’s time and resources to take on these cases.