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New planning report form now in use in Northern District

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FedBarMaley-sigEffective Aug. 14, the Northern District of Indiana has a new form for the “Report of Parties’ Planning Meeting” that is required to be submitted after the parties’ Rule 26(f) planning conference. This new form is to be used going forward.

The new and improved form is the result of work by the magistrate judges and the Local Rules Advisory Committee, with the goal of making the form simpler, consistent with federal and local rules, and reflective of current practices.

As an example of recognizing the realities of modern practice, the form starts off with this statement acknowledging that often times these schedules are worked out among counsel by email, “The parties [held a planning meeting] [conferred via electronic mail] under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) and agreed to this report on __________.”

The new form will be simple and easy for practitioners to use. It is available in Word and Wordperfect format on the court’s website.

Federal rule amendments take effect Dec. 1

This term the Supreme Court of the United States approved amendments to various federal rules. Barring action by Congress blocking the amendments (extraordinarily unlikely), the amendments take effect to cases commenced on or after Dec. 1, and to cases pending as of that date “to the extent just and practicable.”

The key change affecting federal civil practitioners will be a significantly revised Rule 45 on subpoenas. More detailed guidance on the new rule will follow later this year, but the key changes are: (a) the notice requirement to opposing counsel on subpoenas is more prominent; (b) the amendment clarifies that the 100-mile rule indeed applies; (c) the new rule allows transfer of subpoena issues to the court where the matter is pending upon the consent of the person receiving the subpoena, or for extraordinary circumstances; and (d) issuing subpoenas will now show only the caption from the court where the action pends, even if the subpoena is going out of district.

Proposed future rule amendments open for public comment through Feb. 15

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules has issued proposed amendments to Rules 1, 4, 6, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 55 and 84. The proposals with commentary are available at www.uscourts.gov in the “Rulemaking” section. Most of the proposals stem from discussions and ideas at the so-called 2010 Duke Conference where three main themes were repeatedly stressed: (a) proportionality in discovery; (b) cooperation among lawyers; and (c) early and active judicial case management.

For instance, Rule 4(m)’s 120-day service period would be reduced to 60 days. Rule 26 would be amended to allow early document requests prior to the 26(f) conference. Rule 26 would also be amended to limit the scope of discovery so that it must be proportional to the needs of the case considering the amount in controversy, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the parties’ resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Also, the presumptive limit on number of depositions would be five rather than 10, and the time limit reduced from seven hours to six hours.

Practitioners are encouraged to review the proposals and provide comment to the advisory committee.

Save the date – The annual Federal Civil Practice 3-hour CLE seminar will be Thursday, Dec. 19, from 1:30 – 4:45 p.m. in Indianapolis.

Golf with other attorneys – The 5th Annual Joseph Maley Foundation golf outing is set for Sept. 20 at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Indianapolis. This event is well attended by area attorneys. To register or sponsor, visit www.josephmaley.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.

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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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