Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Those proposed Local Rules for the W.D. Va.

Here you can see the proposed local rules for the Western District of Virginia.

Gen. R. 2(b) is good - civil cases should be filed in the right jury division. Long live the Big Stone Gap courthouse!

Gen. R. 11 about juror contact is sound, and Judge Jones has included something on those lines in his pre-trial order for some time.

Gen. R. 12 says: "The Court may in its discretion impose the costs of a jury where a case is settled or otherwise disposed of after it is too late to reasonably notify the jury not to appear." I guess that's based on budget concerns, but a drag. Stick that in your eleventh hour settlement demand - "and you'll indemnify me against whatever the judge makes us pay for settling so late."

Civ. R. 11 requires briefing of motions, along the lines that are required now in Judge Jones's regular scheduling order, but this rule is broader because it would include discovery motions.

Civ. R. 16 now requires scheduling orders in all cases. Judge Williams has not been entering scheduling orders in cases unless someone asked for one, I think.

Civ. R. 26 deals with expert witness disclosures. The gist is if you are going to object to expert testimony, you need to file a motion in time for the Court to rule in advance of trial.

Civ. R. 51 says file proposed jury instructions a week before trial. I think Judge Jones has been ordering this for years. He generally wants them to be e-mailed to him in word processing format as well, so he can tidy them up, but that part is not in the rule.

Civ. R. 54 is cribbed from the D. Md., and sets forth the details of how to apply for attorneys' fees in a cases where those can be recovered. You need to file a little brief and have detailed time records.

Civ. R. 56 says file for summary judgment far enough in advance of trial for the Court to rule. The scheduling orders I've seen usually set a more explicit deadline than this rule provides.

None of this seems even mildly controversial to me. I wonder what jury costs are.