United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey
Chambers - 973-297-4851
Courtroom Deputy - RoseMarie Olivieri-Guilloty, 973-645-2157Court Reporter - John Stone, 201-341-6742
Courtroom PO 03
MAGISTRATE JUDGE ASSIGNMENT:
Judge Vazquez is teamed with Magistrate Judge Clark for cases ending with even docket numbers and Magistrate Judge Falk for cases ending with odd docket numbers.
PROCEDURE TO ADMIT COUNSEL PRO HAC VICE
Motions are referred to the Magistrate Judge for disposition.
Trial Submissions: Trial briefs, proposed voir dire questions, lists of pre-marked exhibits, witness lists including the name and address of each potential witness, and requests to charge are generally required to be submitted by counsel 14 days before trial.
Judge Vazquez has standard voir dire questions that he asks in civil and criminal cases. Counsel should first obtain a copy of the questions from the Courtroom Deputy before submitting counsel’s proposed voir dire questions.
Judge Vazquez first looks to the Third Circuit’s Model Civil and Criminal Instructions (or the model instructions from the relevant state if state law applies) when considering requests to charge. If counsel’s requests to charge vary from the model instructions, then the requests to charge should be submitted in both a clean and redlined format from the model instructions, accompanied by a computer disc or flash drive with both the clean and redlined format in Word format.
Jury Selection: Written voir dire questions are distributed to the entire jury panel, and each member of the panel will first verbally answer all written questions. Necessary follow-up is conducted in open court or at side bar. The jury panel is then excused from the courtroom. Judge Vazquez will first consider all for cause challenges. Peremptory challenges will then be made. All for cause and peremptory challenges are made outside the presence of the jury panel. Judge Vazquez does not require that a party forfeit any peremptory challenge that could have been, but was not, used in any round where the adversary continues to exercise peremptories, except that back strikes will not be permitted.
Jury Note Taking: Judge Vazquez may permit jurors in lengthy and/or complicated trials to take notes.
Juror Questioning: Absent a joint request by counsel, Judge Vazquez does not permit jurors to submit questions to the Court to be posed to witnesses.
Jury Charges: Judge Vazquez may occasionally charge the jury on substantive matters at the beginning of the trial. At the conclusion of the case, he charges the jury on the substantive law before the closing arguments of counsel. Judge Vazquez provides the jurors with a written copy of the jury charge.
Exhibits: Judge Vazquez normally sends all exhibits admitted into evidence into the jury room except for firearms, narcotics, currency, and the like. If jurors wish to view such exhibits during deliberations, they are permitted to do so in open court.
Use of Evidence that is Electronically Stored and Presented: If counsel intends to present evidence that is electronically stored, counsel must notify the Courtroom Deputy at least three weeks prior to trial. Counsel must inform the Courtroom Deputy by letter as to any equipment requested from the Court, any equipment counsel will provide (and set up, if necessary), and a list of all electronic devices that counsel intends on bringing into the courthouse.
Conference with Jurors: Judge Vazquez meets privately with the jury after discharge to answer questions and receive suggestions regarding jury service.
Judge Vazquez does not permit the defendant or counsel to review the Probation Department’s recommendations as to sentence.
Judge Vazquez requires that the attorney who is actually assigned responsibility for the litigation appear at all conferences.
Judge Vazquez permits submission of papers via email or fax upon prior approval by the Court. Communications with the Judge’s law clerks are permitted as to requests for additional briefings or any relevant procedural matter. Communications concerning scheduling, extensions, and adjournments are handled by the Courtroom Deputy.
Two courtesy copies of proposed orders, motion papers, briefs, and exhibits must be sent by regular mail to Chambers. Please do not send courtesy copies of letter correspondence.
Oral argument will not automatically be held on the listed return date. If the Judge grants the request for oral argument, or wishes to hear oral argument on a matter where no request has been made, an order setting forth the date and time for the argument will be entered via CM/ECF.
Summary Judgment Practices: Parties are required to submit respective statements of facts not in dispute pursuant to Local Civil Rule 56.1. If a party’s statement does not conform to the rule, the Court may require the party to submit a revised statement or may disregard any non-conforming portions. Judge Vazquez requires compliance with the length limitations and format requirements for briefs set for in Local Civil Rule 7.2.
Motions to Seal: In civil cases, motions to seal concerning pre-trial matters are referred to the Magistrate Judge.
Telephone Conferences: Judge Vazquez may convene telephone conferences in lieu of formal in-court hearings on relatively simple motions and disputes.
Adjournments/Extensions: All requests for adjournments or extensions must be made in writing and, in the normal course, should be filed via CM/ECF.