United States Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey
Judicial Assistant - Alexis Shaw, 856-757-5446
Courtroom Deputy - Ryan Sanders, 856-757-5488
Law Clerk: Vanessa Sorrentino, 856-757-5446
Court Room: 3C
Unless otherwise directed, the Court will use telephone number 888-808-6929, access code 2170922# for all telephone conferences.
COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE COURT: In civil cases, all written submissions to the Court, unless otherwise directed, should be filed electronically via ECF. Confidential settlement memoranda, however, should be submitted directly via email to email@example.com. Proposed joint discovery plans may also be submitted to this email address. Counsel may contact chambers by telephone with procedural questions but all questions regarding substantive matters should be in writing and electronically filed via ECF. Requests for extensions should be in writing and filed via ECF indicating whether opposing counsel consents. Submissions by fax will not be accepted without prior approval.
COPIES OF PAPERS: Courtesy copies of papers should not be sent to Chambers unless specifically requested or the submission, including exhibits, exceeds 100 pages in length.
PROCEDURE TO ADMIT COUNSEL PRO HAC VICE: Magistrate Judge Skahill requires full compliance with Local Civil Rule 101.1(c) and the filing of a formal motion to admit counsel pro hac vice. The motion should indicate whether all counsel consent or if there is an objection.
Dispositive Motions: Magistrate Judge Skahill follows the procedures of Local Civil Rule 7.1 and does not utilize special procedures with respect to dispositive motions.
Motions to Seal: Magistrate Judge Skahill requires that counsel comply with Local Civil Rule 5.3(c).
Motions to Amend: Motions to amend shall comply with Local Civil Rule 15.1. Counsel shall circulate any desired amendment and shall seek written consent of all parties, as per Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2), before pursuing amendment by motion. A motion to amend must contain a redlined version of the proposed amended pleading as an exhibit, as provided for in Local Civil Rule 15.1(a)(2). If a party seeks to file a motion to amend after the deadline set by a Scheduling Order, that party must show good cause why the amendment could not have been sought earlier.
Schedule: Magistrate Judge Skahill does not hold oral argument on motions unless requested by the Court. The Court will advise the parties of the date and time of the argument and whether the argument will be held in-person or via a telephone conference. All reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the schedule of counsel.
Telephone Conferences: Magistrate Judge Skahill is amenable to telephone conferences, particularly on scheduling and discovery matters. Magistrate Judge Skahill requires counsel to meet and confer prior to requesting a conference to address discovery disputes. Magistrate Judge Skahill also typically requires letter memoranda in advance of the scheduled conference, as addressed further in the Court’s Pretrial Scheduling Order.
Discovery Disputes: The protocol for raising discovery disputes is addressed by Magistrate Judge Skahill in the Pretrial Scheduling Order and at the initial conference. The Court requires counsel to meet all of their obligations under Local Rule 37.1 and to attempt to resolve discovery disputes by meeting and conferring in person or by speaking over the telephone. Discovery motions may be filed only upon leave of the Court and after the parties have proceeded in accordance with Local Rules 16.1 and 37.1 and the Court’s instructions in the Pretrial Scheduling Order.
CONFIDENTIALITY ORDERS: The parties are encouraged to use the form discovery confidentiality order found at Appendix S of the Local Rules. If the parties submit their own version of a confidentiality order, which differs from Appendix S, they must submit: (1) a clean version of the proposed order that is ready for signature, and (2) an additional version that shall indicate in what respect(s) it differs from Appendix S by bracketing or striking through materials to be deleted and underlining materials to be added.
SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES: Magistrate Judge Skahill will normally require counsel to submit a confidential settlement memorandum at least 3 business days prior to the settlement conference. Unless otherwise instructed, the settlement memorandum shall not exceed 10 double spaced pages. Counsel may also include exhibits or documents that they intend to refer to or rely on at the conference, which are truly necessary. Magistrate Judge Skahill expects that the submissions will include a candid discussion of the submitting party’s strengths and weaknesses in the case. The confidential settlement memoranda should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Magistrate Judge Skahill requires the plaintiff (and defendant to any affirmative claim) to set out a written good faith demand prior to the conference. The defendant (or other responding party) is required to respond to that demand in writing. The demand and response should be conveyed to the Court as part of each counsel’s settlement conference submission.
For in-person conferences, absent leave of the Court, Magistrate Judge Skahill requires that trial counsel and clients with full and complete settlement authority attend the conference in person and remain available for the duration of the conference. For telephonic/Zoom conferences, Magistrate Judge Skahill requires that parties with full and complete settlement authority also be available for the entire conference.
FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCES: The parties should be prepared to engage in meaningful settlement discussions at the final pretrial conference. Therefore, at the conference, each party must be represented by an attorney who is vested with full settlement authority. Clients are to be present if directed by Magistrate Judge Skahill but must, in all circumstances, be on call so that any settlement proposals made at the conference can be immediately conveyed. For cases in the Camden vicinage, the parties shall review and follow the instructions and directives for preparing the joint final pretrial order in the Camden vicinage, which are accessible through the Court’s website: https://www.njd.uscourts.gov/sites/njd/files/pretrialorder%20camden.pdf
Unless otherwise directed, the plaintiff shall be responsible for submitting the joint proposed final pretrial order no later than five business days before the conference.