With all the challenges facing bench, bar, and litigants in this difficult time, reflecting on something or someone good seems particularly appropriate for today’s column, rather than the usual nuance of jurisdiction and procedure. Laura Briggs is, by all means, someone good, indeed extraordinary. Most federal practitioners in the Southern District know this well, having benefited from Laura’s dedicated service as clerk since 1998.
Federal courts are limited jurisdiction tribunals. As such, the federal judiciary carefully guards subject-matter jurisdiction, ensuring at multiple stages of a case, and in the trial court and on appeal, that the case is properly in federal court. Examples of jurisdictional issues abound in federal district courts and are scrutinized in the 7th Circuit, as well.
At the recent federal civil practice seminar sponsored by Indiana Lawyer, multiple Indiana federal judges commented on procedural developments.
Effective Dec. 1, several local rule changes will take effect in the Southern District of Indiana. All the amendments are practical, common-sense changes reflecting current practice or otherwise simplifying procedure.
Effective Dec. 1, a package of federal rule changes is scheduled to go into effect. Per federal statute, the amendments apply to cases filed on or after Dec. 1, and otherwise to existing cases to the extent just and practicable.
For years now, all federal courts have been using ECF electronic filing along with electronic service of filings and court orders. This system offers great convenience and efficiencies, but in today’s litigation practices, with the seemingly nonstop, never-ending inflow of email, the risks of missing a court order are increased. This proved painful in a recent 7th Circuit decision.
As federal court practitioners know, in seeking summary judgment, the movant must set forth the facts favorably for the non-movant. In a recent ruling, Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson issued a must-read 44-page opinion reinforcing the importance of this requirement.
The Northern District of Indiana has published proposed Local Rules amendments, with the comment period open through March 31. The Local Rules Advisory Committee has recommended, and the Court has approved for public comment, amendments to Local Rules 1-1, 3-1, 5-1, 5-2 and 7-1.
Effective Dec. 1, the Southern District of Indiana adopted various Local Rules amendments, specifically to Local Rules 5-2, 5-3 and 5-7 (electronic filing); Local Rule 6-1 (extensions of time); Local Rule 81-2 (removed actions), and; Local Rule 83-5 (admission). The amendments to Local Rule 6-1(a) are significant in that they impact the process of seeking extensions of time for filing deadlines.
In reviewing the most recent edition of “Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts,” John Maley writes that no other book gives such practical and integrated treatment to procedural and substantive law in areas frequently encountered by federal commercial litigators.
The Southern District of Indiana Court has published for comment proposed changes to several local rules, with the full text available on the court’s website. Several of the proposals address practices and procedures that arise in many cases.
In April the Supreme Court approved amendments to Rules 5, 23, 62, and 65.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which will take effect December 1 absent contrary action by Congress.
Local rules in the Northern and Southern district courts have changed regarding responses to motions to dismiss.
Since taking the bench in March, Magistrate Judge Doris Pryor has been immersed in the work of the court.
Intervention — Rule 24 allows a non-party to intervene in a pending action as of right in limited circumstances, either as of right or permissively.
Effective Dec. 1, several federal rule changes took effect. Fortunately, this batch of amendments was modest.
The Southern District of Indiana made modest changes to its Uniform Case Management Plans, both the general plan and the patent litigation plan, effective Nov. 1.
A recent opinion in which Chief Judge Diane Wood issued a published order addressing jurisdictional statements on appeal is a must-read for anyone handling 7th Circuit appeals.
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.
The Northern District of Indiana has implemented new protocols for assignment of cases to judges, both for certain pending cases and for newly filed cases.