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Federal Bar Update: Southern District of Indiana adopts rule amendments

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Federal Bar UpdateAs noted in the prior column, as in the Northern District of Indiana, the Southern District has amended several Local Rules. These were approved in late December and took effect Jan. 1. Amendments were made to Local Rules 5-3, 5-5, 6-1, 7-1, 16-1, 80-2, 83-5, 83-6, 83-7, and Local Criminal Rule 49.1 regarding electronic filing. The full text of the amended rules is on the court’s website, with the key changes summarized below.

Local Rule 6-1(b) addresses automatic extensions of time, and is cleaned up and simplified to now read as follows:

(b) Automatic Initial Extension. The deadline for filing a response to a pleading or to any written request for discovery or admissions will automatically be extended upon filing a notice of the extension with the court that states:

(1) the deadline has not been previously extended;

(2) the extension is for 28 or fewer days;

(3) the extension does not interfere with the Case Management Plan, scheduled hearings, or other case deadlines;

(4) the original deadline and extended deadline;

(5) that all opposing counsel the filing attorney could reach agreed to the extension; or that the filing attorney could not reach any opposing counsel, and providing the dates, times and manner of all attempts to reach opposing counsel.

(c) Pro Se Parties. The automatic initial extension does not apply to pro se parties.

Because these notices are frequently used, practitioners should note this new format and ensure staff uses the proper form going forward.

Local Rule 7-1(a) is amended as follows, with the last sentence being a new addition to clarify that motions are not to be contained within briefs:

(a) Motions Must Be Filed Separately. Motions must be filed separately, but alternative motions may be filed in a single paper if each is named in the title. A motion must not be contained within a brief, response, or reply to a previously filed motion, unless ordered by the court.

Local Rule 56.1 is amended to make it clearer that objections as to admissibility at summary judgment are to be raised in briefs, not by separate motions:

(i) Collateral Motions. The court disfavors collateral motions — such as motions to strike — in the summary judgment process. Parties should address disputes over the admissibility or effect of evidence in their briefs. Any dispute over the admissibility or effect of evidence must be raised through an objection within a party’s brief.

Local Rules 83-5 and 83-6 address pro hac vice admission. These are substantially rewritten (indeed 83-6 is a new rule separately addressing pro hac vice admissions). Anyone moving for another’s pro hac vice admission needs to read and understand the new rule. The key change is a broadening of the disclosure requirements as to any disciplinary history.

Save The Date – The 7th Circuit Judicial Conference will be held May 5-7 in Indianapolis. For details, go to www.7thcircuitbar.org.•

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John Maley – jmaley@btlaw.com – is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, practicing federal and state litigation, employment matters and appeals. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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