1. RULE 16(B) SCHEDULING CONFERENCES
The Court issues a detailed Order Setting Scheduling Conference, which the parties and counsel are directed to review carefully before preparing their Joint Rule 26(f) Report. The Joint Rule 26(f) Report must be filed two weeks in advance of the conference. Generally, the Court does not continue scheduling conferences or defer initial disclosures pending resolution of pre-answer motions.
The Court frequently vacates scheduling conferences in favor of issuing a scheduling order based on the parties’ written submission. The Court has a presumptive civil litigation schedule that builds in sufficient time for briefing, hearing, and resolution of pretrial issues in advance of trial. Proposals that deviate from the presumptive schedule must be explained.
2. PROPOSED ORDERS (ALL REQUESTS FOR RELIEF)
Whether related to ex parte applications, stipulations, motions, or any other request for relief, the parties must prepare, lodge and email proposed orders setting forth the relief they seek. See Local Rule 5-4.4. A word processing version of the proposed order must be emailed to the chambers address. See Local Rule 5-4.4.2. Although Local Rule 5-4.4.2 allows for another format, proposed orders emailed to Judge Staton’s chambers address must be in Microsoft Word format.
3. EX PARTE APPLICATIONS (CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES)
The parties and counsel are directed to Local Civil Rule 7-19. Ex parte applications are for extraordinary relief only. When seeking relief by filing an ex parte application, the filing party must demonstrate that the need for ex parte relief is not due to the lack of the party’s diligence. Although denominated “ex parte,” these applications are almost never granted without affording the opposing party an opportunity to respond. Ex parte applications are generally resolved on the papers and are rarely set for hearing. The parties are strongly encouraged to attempt to resolve the issue(s) presented before seeking relief. Prior to filing, the movant shall determine the position of the opposing party and advise the Court of that position in the ex parte application or in an accompanying declaration. Where appropriate, the movant shall serve the opposing party by electronic filing (see Local Rule 5-3.2.1); otherwise, the moving shall serve by email, fax, or personal service. The moving party shall also notify the opposing party that any opposition must be filed no later than 24 hours after service.
If parties or counsel do not intend to oppose an ex parte application, counsel must inform the CRD by email or telephone as soon as possible.
4. STIPULATIONS (CIVIL AND CRIMINAL)
The parties are encouraged to resolve minor issues with minimal Court involvement by the filing of a stipulation. Local Rule 7-1. The parties may not stipulate to “good cause” to continue a deadline imposed by the Rule 16(b) Scheduling Order, but they may seek to establish good cause by declaration(s) proffered in support of their stipulation.
5. CIVIL MOTIONS
Civil motions are heard on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Parties must comply with the meet-and-confer requirement of Local Rule 7-3 or risk summary denial of their motions for the failure to follow this rule. The Court may decline to consider documents that are not timely filed, and the failure to file a timely opposition brief may be deemed consent to the motion. Local Rule 7-12.
On civil cases it is not necessary to reserve a motion date with the court clerk prior to filing the motion, but parties and counsel must comply with all Local and Federal Rules regarding service and must review the Court's Closed Motion Dates. The Court may resolve civil motions on the parties’ written submissions, without oral argument. If the Court does not believe that oral argument will be helpful, the Court will advise the parties in advance.
A party may file only one summary judgment motion. Motions for summary judgment must be accompanied by a Statement of Uncontroverted Facts and Conclusions of Law. Local Rule 56-1. Oppositions thereto must be accompanied by a Statement of Genuine Issues. Local Rule 56-2. These documents shall not include legal argument. Objections to specific evidence may be noted in these documents, but argument on objections must be set forth in separate documents.
6. CRIMINAL MOTIONS
Criminal motions are heard on Friday mornings. Judge Staton’s Order Regarding Criminal Proceedings imposes a meet-and-confer requirement before the filing of a motion in a criminal case. The date and time for hearings on all criminal motions must be cleared in advance with the CRD. Motions and Opposition briefs shall set forth a hearing time estimate on the caption page of the filing. Reply briefs are limited to 12 pages. Judge Staton’s Order Regarding Criminal Proceedings sets forth a number of other specific requirements, and parties and their counsel are expected to comply with all procedures set forth therein.
7. LENGTH AND FORMAT OF MOTIONS AND PROFFERED EVIDENCE (CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES)
Only in rare cases will the Court grant leave to exceed the page limitations set forth at Local Rule 11-6. Font size must be as specified. Local Rule 11-3.1.1. Footnotes should be limited and may be single-spaced, but must meet the font size requirements. Local Rule 11-3.6. No supplemental brief(s) or sur-reply briefs may be filed without leave of Court. Local Rule 7-10.
Mandatory chambers copies of evidence must be provided, and they must be presented in a usable format. Illegible exhibits cannot be considered and may be stricken. If proffered evidence exceeds 50 pages, it must be separately bound, tabbed, and must include an index. If the evidence exceeds 200 pages, it must also be placed in an appropriate 3-ring binder.
8. APPEARANCE OF COUNSEL (CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES)
The Court does not entertain telephonic appearances for hearings except in truly exceptional circumstances. In situations in which one attorney makes a telephone appearance, but his or her co-counsel is present in Court, only one of the two may address the substance of any matter pending before the Court.
In civil cases, lead trial counsel is expected to appear at all conferences and hearings, including motion hearings. Special appearances are not permitted, and only counsel of record may appear.
9. CLASS ACTION SCHEDULING ISSUES
Plaintiffs in a putative class action need not comply with Local Rule 23-3, which requires the filing of a motion for class certification within ninety days of the filing of a class action complaint. Instead, the parties are directed to discuss scheduling issues related to class certification in their Joint Rule 26(f) Report. It is strongly suggested that counsel agree to a class certification briefing schedule.
Absent extraordinary circumstances, the Court does not bifurcate class discovery from merits discovery. In an ordinary case, the Court would expect the filing of a class certification motion within six months of the scheduling conference.
10. SCHEDULING ISSUES IN UTILITY PATENT CASES
For cases involving claims of infringement of a utility patent, the Court follows a schedule similar to that imposed by the Northern District of California. In advance of meeting and conferring regarding the preparation of the Joint Rule 26(f) Report, and as explained more fully in the Court’s Order Setting Scheduling Conference, counsel in these cases are directed to access Exhibit B and base their proposed schedule on the Court’s presumptive schedule for utility patent cases. If they wish to deviate from the Court’s presumptive schedule, they must explain their position(s).
11. BANKRUPTCY APPEALS
When a notice of appeal is filed in the Bankruptcy Court, the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court will send the record to the District Court (or will notify the District Court that the record is available electronically). The Clerk of the District Court will then issue a Certificate of Readiness and give notice to all parties as required by Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 8010(b)(3). The briefing schedule is that set by Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 8018(a)(1)-(3).
12. DISCOVERY MOTIONS IN A CIVIL CASE
All discovery motions in civil cases are to be calendared before the magistrate judge. Parties and counsel are directed to the procedures for discovery motions set forth in Local Rule 37 and are advised to consult the procedures page of the magistrate judge assigned to their case.
13. DISCOVERY IN CRIMINAL CASES
The Court issues a detailed Order Regarding Criminal Proceedings in each case. The Order addresses specific requirements regarding discovery in a criminal case. Parties and their counsel are expected to comply with all procedures set forth therein.
14. CENTRAL DISTRICT CALENDAR CONFLICTS (CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES)
Counsel shall notify the CRD for each judge prior to the date of the conflict. Counsel should appear before the most senior judge and request priority.
15. UNDER SEAL FILINGS (CIVIL CASES)
Effective December 1, 2015, all parties and counsel must fully comply with all steps of the multi-step procedure set forth in Local Rule 79-5. A document presenting an overview of the steps required to file documents under seal in non-sealed civil cases, as well as the Court's Guide to Electronically Filing Under-Seal Documents in Civil Cases, appear below in PDF format. Failure to comply with any one of the requirements of Local Rule 79-5 may result in denial of an application for leave to file under seal, and may result in delay or the inability to rely on the documents to be filed under seal. Mandatory chambers copies of under seal filings must be delivered to the civil filing window and must not be left in the drop box.
16. UNDER SEAL FILINGS (CRIMINAL CASES)
Under seal filings in a criminal case are not subject to the procedure outlined in Local Rule 79-5. The procedure for their filing is outlined in a separate document, attached below in PDF format.
17. CONTINUANCES IN CIVIL CASES
Continuances in civil cases are granted only upon a showing of good cause. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). Applications or stipulations for continuances must be supported by detailed declaration attesting to the grounds for continuance. Parties and counsel must in all instances demonstrate good cause; they may not simply stipulate that good cause has been shown.
The Court’s determination of whether good cause has been shown focuses upon evidence of diligence by the party or parties seeking a continuance, and on the potential for prejudice that might result from a denial of the continuance.
The Court sets firm trial dates and will not change them without good cause having been shown. Requests should be submitted well in advance of the relief requested.
Counsel are not to assume that any request has been granted until it is approved by the Court. See Local Rule 40-1.
18. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (CIVIL CASES)
This Court participates in the Court-Directed ADR Program. If counsel have received a Notice to Parties of Court-Directed ADR Program (ADR-08), the case will be presumptively referred to the Court’s Mediation Panel or to private mediation. See General Order 11-10, § 5.1 and Local Rule 26-1(c). This Court generally does not refer settlement conferences to magistrate judges. The Court follows an early ADR procedure for cases brought pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
19. SETTLEMENT OF CIVIL CASES
The parties are to advise the Court promptly when a settlement is reached. In an ordinary civil case, upon being advised that the parties have reached a resolution as to all parties and all claims, the Court will issue an order staying all proceedings pending a stipulation of dismissal by the parties. The parties are expected to finalize the terms of the settlement and file a stipulation of dismissal within thirty days of the entry of the Court’s stay order.
Where parties in a putative class action reach a settlement of only the named plaintiff’s individual claims, and seek dismissal of the class claims, any stipulation of dismissal must articulate why the factors identified in Diaz v. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, 876 F.2d 1401, 1408 (9th Cir. 1989), favor dismissal and why notice need not be provided to the putative class. The Court requires the parties to submit their settlement agreement to the Court for review.
20. ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT (CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES)
Parties and counsel are directed to contact the CRD well in advance of an appearance at which they want to use electronic equipment in the courtroom.
21. TRANSCRIPTS (CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES)
Parties and counsel may obtain transcripts by contacting the Court Reporter, whose email address appears on this page. If needed, the Court Reporter may be able to provide an estimate of the cost for the preparation of a transcript.
To determine the court reporter/recorder for a particular proceeding, go to the Court Reporter Schedule web page and click on View by Date. Once you've determined the correct court reporter/recorder for the desired session, click on Court Reporter Phone and Email List for contact information.
22. FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCES AND TRIALS IN CIVIL CASES
The Court issues a detailed Civil Trial Order concurrently with the Scheduling Order. The Local Civil Rules and the Court’s Civil Trial Order set forth a number of deadlines for pretrial submissions, many of which are due well in advance of the Pretrial Conference. See Local Rules 16-4 through 16-10.
23. CRIMINAL TRIALS
The Court issues a detailed Order Regarding Criminal Proceedings in each case. The Order addresses specific issues regarding criminal trials.
24. JUDGMENTS IN CIVIL CASES
The Court will not enter partial judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) unless it first grants a motion seeking an entry of partial judgment. Where all claims as to all parties have been dismissed with prejudice or finally adjudicated, the prevailing party shall lodge and email a proposed judgment that complies with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 58(a).
Costs must be sought by the filing of an Application to the Clerk to Tax Costs as specified in Local Rule 54-2.
26. MOTIONS FOR ATTORNEY FEES (CIVIL CASES)
Any motion or application for attorney's fees shall include a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel format. Each billed task shall be set forth on a separate line that consists of the following columns: (1) in “date” format, the date the task was performed; (2) the timekeeper (attorney or paralegal) performing the task; (3) a description of the task performed; (4) in “number” or “currency” format, the hourly rate of the relevant timekeeper; (5) in “number” format, the time expended on the task; and (6) as a formula, a calculation of the fee charged for each task. A sample spreadsheet is attached below in Excel format.
A PDF version of spreadsheet shall be e-filed as an exhibit in support of the motion, and a separate, editable, electronic copy in Excel format shall be emailed to the chambers address.
27. SENTENCING HEARINGS (CRIMINAL CASES)
The Court issues a detailed Order Regarding Criminal Proceedings in each case. The Order addresses specific requirements regarding filing of materials related to sentencing in a criminal case. Of particular note, position papers must be filed no later than two weeks in advance of the sentencing hearing.
28. STATUS INQUIRIES (CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES)
Parties and counsel are instructed to refrain from inquiring by phone or email regarding the status of a motion, stipulation, or proposed order.
29. NO CONTACT WITH CHAMBERS
Parties and counsel shall direct their communications to the CRD rather than chambers.
30. LAW CLERK POSITIONS
Judge Staton hires two term law clerks each year. All applicants must apply through the OSCAR system during the posting period, which is generally mid-January through the end of January in the calendar year before the position begins.
31. EXTERN POSITIONS
Full time volunteer positions (extern positions) may be offered to qualified candidates on a rolling basis. Up to two positions are available during a summer term (May or June through August), fall term (August or September through December), and spring term (January through May). Applicants may email application packets consisting of a cover letter, resume, transcripts, writing sample, and references.