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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. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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