Honorable Patricia Donahue

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Magistrate Judge

Roybal Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 255 E. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA, 90012, Courtroom 580, 5th Floor

Recording, copying, photographing and rebroadcasting of court proceedings is prohibited by federal law. A violation of this prohibition may result in sanctions, including suspension of your license to practice before this court, referral to the state bar, denial of the right to appear by video or telephonically at future proceedings, criminal prosecution, contempt, denial of admission to future hearings, and any other sanctions deemed necessary by the Court.


Law and Motion Schedule: 

Civil motions are heard on Fridays at 1:30 p.m.  Other than discovery motions, discussed below, it is not necessary to clear a civil motion date with the Court before filing the motion.

In criminal cases, contact the Courtroom Deputy Clerk to schedule all motions. ​

Judge's Procedures: 

General Procedures

  1. To request a continuance of any scheduled court proceeding, the parties should submit a signed stipulation and proposed order. If it is necessary to file an ex parte application to seek a continuance, the application must comply with Local Rule 7-11 and Local Rule 7-19 and must contain opposing counsel's position.
  2. Procedures for filing an ex parte application: Strict compliance with Local Rule 7-19 is required. Any opposition must be filed within one business day of the electronic filing of the application. The Court will notify parties if a hearing is desired. Please note that, absent an emergency, ex parte applications may not be used to obtain a ruling on a discovery dispute. The Court's procedures for discovery motions in civil cases are set forth below.
  3. Counsel may not contact the Judge's law clerks.
  4. Inquiries regarding the status of a motion, stipulation or proposed order should be made to the Courtroom Deputy Clerk.
  5. Calendar conflicts: Advise the Courtroom Deputy Clerk in advance about a calendar conflict and attempt to stipulate with opposing counsel to an alternative date and time after clearing that alternative with the Courtroom Deputy Clerk.
  6. Procedures for bringing electronic equipment into the courtroom: Contact the Courtroom Deputy Clerk.
  7. For general information on how to order a transcript of any reported or digitally recorded proceeding, please contact 213-894-8958 or visit the Court website (www.cacd.uscourts.gov) section referring to Court Reporter/Recorder Transcripts. For an estimate of the cost to prepare a transcript, contact the court reporter/recorder for the desired proceeding. 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 have determined the correct court reporter/recorder for the desired session, click on Court Reporter Phone and Email List for contact information.

​Stipulated Protective Orders

  1. Stipulated protective orders must satisfy Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Ninth Circuit standards for protective orders, and the Local Rules.  The Court may enter a prtoective order only upon a showing of good cause.  Kamakana v. City and Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1176 (9th Cir. 2006) (parties must make a "particularized showing" under Rule 26(c)'s good cause requirement for court to enter protective order).  
  2. The Court will not enter a protective order that provides for the automatic sealing of all confidential documents. If confidential material is included in any papers to be filed in Court, such papers shall be accompanied by an application pursuant to Local Civil Rule 79-5.1 to file the papers – or the confidential portion thereof – under seal.  
  3. If there is a dispute regarding the designation of confidential information, the procedure for obtaining a decision from the Court is set forth in Local Rule 37.  
  4. An example of a stipulated protective order that satisfies these and other requiremets is attached in Word and PDF format.

Discovery Motions

  1. Counsel are required to review and comply with the Civility and Professionalism Guidelines on the Court website under Attorney Information.  

  2. Discovery proceedings are to be scheduled before the Magistrate Judge unless otherwise ordered by the District Judge.  Counsel should review the procedures and schedules and the standing orders on the Court website for the District Judge assigned to the case, as well as all scheduling orders issued by the District Judge for all provisions relating to discovery, including the cutoff date.  Some District Judges permit a discovery motion to be decided after the discovery cutoff; others require that any discovery dispute be fully briefed, argued, and decided, and that any relief ordered by the Magistrate Judge be completed, before the discovery cutoff.  There are other variations as well.  Disputes brought to the Magistrate Judge’s attention without sufficient time for decision within the deadlines set by the District Judge will be stricken or denied.

  3. Informal Discovery Conference.  Discovery disputes often may be resolved without formal motion papers. To facilitate the just and expedient resolution of discovery matters and to conserve the Court’s and the parties’ resources, the Court requires the parties to follow the procedure below.

    First, as Local Civil Rule 37-1 requires, the parties must meet and confer and make a good-faith effort to resolve any discovery dispute.

    Second, if the parties conclude that they have reached an impasse, within 1 business day of the last meet-and-confer, the movant must e-mail the Court at pdchambers@cacd.uscourts.gov seeking a conference with the Court via Zoom to discuss the discovery dispute. The e-mail must include the following:

    1. Three separate proposed dates and times mutually agreed upon by the parties for the conference;
    2. The discovery cut-off date;
    3. A neutral statement of each issue in dispute; and
    4. A brief description of each party’s position on the dispute(s).  Each party’s description should be no more than 3 sentences per dispute and may include citations to pertinent authority.

    The movant must copy opposing counsel on the e-mail.  

  4. The parties are encouraged to permit an attorney of five or fewer years out of law school to conduct the argument (or at least the lion’s share) at the informal discovery conference, as this provides opportunities for newer lawyers.
  5. No discovery motion may be filed until the Court has conducted an informal discovery conference, unless the movant has obtained leave of Court sought by an ex parte application. The Court may strike any discovery motion filed in violation of this Rule and Procedure.

Criminal Proceedings

  1. Federal law enforcement agents and the United States Attorney's Office are encouraged to advise the Courtroom Deputy Clerk in advance of the anticipated submission of lengthy warrants, criminal complaints, and other applications for the Court's review.
  2. Document Duty E-Filing Requirements. The government will email documents, including any proposed orders in Microsoft Word, to the Judge's criminal duty mailbox: PDCrimDuty@cacd.uscourts.gov.  Please note that this email address is for criminal document duty matters only and should not be used for any other purpose.

Judge Donahue welcomes applications from law students for externships in chambers during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.  To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to PDChambers@cacd.uscourts.gov.