United States District Court
Chambers - 973-776-7700 | Court Room : PO 01
Fax - 973-645-3020
Courtroom Deputy - Marquis Whitney, 973-645-6653
Procedure to Admit Counsel Pro Hac Vice: When no party objects, Magistrate Judge Clark requires only a form of order with supporting documents consistent with the requirements of L.Civ.R. 101.1(c), including a certification of admission and good standing and a certification of local counsel stating that it shall comply with L. Civ. R. 101.1(c). Application may be made by informally by letter.
Motion Practice: Formal Motions: No formal motions, other than motions under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12, are permitted unless a letter setting forth the basis for such motion and a request for a telephone conference precedes the motion.
Dispositive Motions: Magistrate Judge Clark requires that the procedures of L.Civ.R. 7.1 be followed for all motions and does not utilize special procedures for dispositive motions. Requests for adjournments must be made in writing.
Schedule: Magistrate Judge Clark does not convene a regular calendar. Motions are scheduled on dates and times that are convenient to all parties, often on short notice.
Telephone Conferences: Magistrate Judge Clark is amenable to telephone conferences on scheduling and discovery matters, to be initiated by letter informally outlining the issues to be discussed. Telephone conferences are generally not permitted for Rule 16 conferences and Final Pretrial Conferences.
Discovery Disputes: Magistrate Judge Clark requires the parties first meet their obligations under L.Civ.R. 37.1 to meet and confer to attempt to resolve discovery disputes without the court’s intervention. Should counsel fail in this effort, the party raising the dispute should submit a brief letter (no more than 5 pages) advising the Court of the dispute and what actions have been taken to resolve the issues. The non-moving party should submit a response within two days (not to exceed 5 pages). Thereafter, Magistrate Judge Clark will either conduct an informal oral argument, enter an appropriate briefing schedule, or order the parties to meet and confer to prepare joint submissions.
Motions to Seal: Magistrate Judge Clark prefers that a copy of the materials a party seeks to seal be submitted to Chambers in a sealed envelope marked “Confidential Materials subject to Motion to Seal.” In addition, the submission shall: (1) state whether or not there is any opposition to the request to seal the specific documents and, if so, the document(s) that they oppose sealing and the reason(s) for the opposition; (2) include both the pages of the document(s) the movant seeks to have sealed and a proposed redacted version; (3) include a chart identifying the document and explaining: (a) the legitimate private or public interests which warrant the relief sought; (b) the clearly defined and serious injury that would result if the relief sought is not granted; (c) why a less restrictive alternative to the relief sought is not available, see L.Civ.R. 5.3(c)(2); and (4) include a proposed form of order that lists with specificity each entry for which sealing is sought.
Particular Concerns: Magistrate Judge Clark emphasizes that L.Civ.R. 16.1(g)(1) and 37.1(b)(1) require actual discussion with adversary counsel in a genuine effort to resolve discovery and case management disputes. Trial counsel and clients with full settlement authority must attend all settlement conferences in person, absent leave of court.
Communications with the Court: Magistrate Judge Clark will accept submissions of less than 20 pages by fax (973-645-3020). Direct communication with law clerks is permitted as to procedural matters only
Copies of Papers: Magistrate Judge Clark requires that one courtesy copy of briefs, letter-memoranda, motions papers and proposed orders be submitted directly to Chambers for the Court’s convenience. Delivery may be by mail, or where reasonable in length, by fax at (973-645-3020). Counsel may submit confidential settlement letters, discovery disputes with information subject to discovery confidentiality orders, and informal adjournment requests directly to Chambers via fax or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All other papers, including joint discovery plans, all other discovery disputes, and proposed orders (submitted with cover letters), shall be electronically filed.
Trial Practices:Jury Selection: Counsel should contact Courtroom Deputy Marquis Whitney regarding jury selection.Exhibits: Magistrate Judge Clark does not send narcotics or weapons into the jury room. If jurors wish to see such an exhibit during deliberations, the Magistrate Judge will discuss with counsel whether to send it into the jury room with a deputy marshal or to permit them to see it in open court. The attorneys for the parties are generally ordered to maintain custody of all exhibits during trial.Conference with Jurors: Magistrate Judge Clark has no fixed practice as to meeting with jurors after a verdict.Probation Report: Magistrate Judge Clark does not permit the defendant or counsel to review the Probation Department’s recommendations as to a sentence.
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* Courthouse photos courtesy of Sharon Krause.