Honorable Michael R. Wilner

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Magistrate Judge

​Roybal Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 255 E. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA, 90012, Courtroom 550, 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: 
  1. Judge Wilner hears civil motions on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. Please check the Closed Motion Dates before filing a motion. It is not necessary to clear a civil motion date with the Court before filing the motion.
  2. The parties must contact the courtroom deputy clerk to schedule all motions in criminal cases.  Unless otherwise ordered, Judge Wilner will not hear in-custody criminal matters on Wednesdays.
Judge's Procedures: 
Civil Procedures
     NOTE: Parties are not required to meet in person to comply with Local Rule 37's discovery motion procedures.  Telephone or video discussions will suffice. 
  1. Discovery issues - If the parties have a discovery dispute, they may contact Judge Wilner by e-mail (MRW_Chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov) to request a video conference with the Court before filing a discovery motion. The request must: (a) include a BRIEF description (summary NTE 200 words) of the dispute and the parties’ contentions; (b) indicate that the parties have been unable to resolve the dispute informally; and (c) copy all parties on the e-mail. 
  2. Pre-motion discussions with the judge are most useful to discuss recalcitrant misconduct in discovery, a discrete dispute, or scheduling issues.  They are generally not useful in dealing with broader disputes about relevance, proportionality, burden, or privilege issues under FRCP 26 et seq.  Note that Judge Wilner generally is unlikely to order relief during an informal video discussion in the absence of a fully-briefed motion. 
  3. The Court encourages larger law firms to give junior attorneys an opportunity to participate in the resolution of discovery disputes on video calls or at hearings.  However, lead trial counsel must be present for all such proceedings.
  4. The Court recognizes that Local Rule 37-2.1 exempts discovery motions from the 25-page limit applicable to most briefs.  The Court finds little value, though, in reviewing oversize joint submissions that consist of repetitive recitations of the challenged discovery and the parties' legal positions.  For any motion that the parties reasonably believe will exceed 50 pages, they should present the challenged discovery in an appendix attached immediately behind their joint brief.  The parties may also refer the Court to the first iteration of their mutual positions (e.g., "See Section 1.a") rather than cutting and pasting those statements ad infinitum in their memorandum.
  5. Scheduling of Rule 56 motions - No summary judgment motion in a civil consent case may be noticed for hearing on less than 35 days notice.  In other words, the opposing party must receive at least 14 days to respond to the motion.  Plan accordingly.
  6. Exhibits to motions - For any exhibit to any motion that is more than five pages in length, the parties must highlight the relevant portion of the material for the Court's review.  Do not submit a large item in its entirety if an appropriate excerpt may properly present the relevant material.  If deposition testimony is to be submitted, the Court prefers to review four-plex transcripts (if available) rather than single-page transcripts.
  7. The Court encourages the parties to amend and use its preferred form protective order (available below).  The parties may also provide a red-lined version of the proposed order to the Court to highlight significant changes that they've made to the form order.
  8. In a civil case involving an individual in custody, the moving party must file the motion without requesting a hearing date.  The Court will review the moving papers to determine whether a hearing is necessary.
  9. For any regularly-noticed request for a writ of attachment (Cal. CCP 483.010 et seq.) involving a represented defendant, any opposition submission will be due 21 days before the hearing per Local Rule 7-9.  Any reply submission will be due 14 days before the hearing per Local Rule 7-10.  If an individual or entity defendant is unrepresented, the schedule contained in Form CV-4I will govern.
  10. The Court prefers citations to Westlaw (rather than other data providers) in briefs that reference unpublished judicial decisions or other materials.
  11. Social Security review actions - For any action filed on or after December 1, 2022, the parties must comply in full with the time limits set forth in the Supplemental Rules for Social Security Actions.  However, the Court will entertain reasonable extension requests in appropriate circumstances - particularly when the parties wish to engage in meaningful settlement discussions before final briefing and adjudication of the claims.
  12. Attorneys' fee applications - Any motion for fees must be accompanied by a billing timesheet in native fomat (Excel, Word, etc.) emailed to chambers.
Trial Preparation
  1. All motions in limine to be heard at the pretrial conference must be filed in a joint format.  Neither party's section of any joint motion will exceed five pages in length.
  2. The parties must file joint jury instructions (and submit a clean, unannotated Word copy to the chambers e-mail) for all substantive causes of action, defenses, and specific evidentiary or trial practice issues.  There is no need to submit the Court's introductory or concluding form instructions.  
  3. If there is a dispute regarding a particular jury instruction, the parties will submit a single document that offers each party's proposed instruction and supporting argument.
  4. The Court strictly enforces the exhibit list and pre-admission requirements of Local Rule 16-6.  The parties will submit a joint exhibit list along with any necessary legitimate objections to the proposed materials (other than relevance or cumulativeness - to be taken up during trial).  Formulaic or meritless evidentiary objections that need to be resolved at the pretrial conference may be the basis for sanctions.
  5. When an exhibit has been admitted (whether before or during trial), the parties may publish it to the jury without seeking permission from the Court.  
  6. The parties' joint witness list must contain realistic time estimates for direct and cross-examination.  The jury will be informed of those estimates and a summary of each witness's testimony before questioning begins.
  7. The Court conducts the first day of trial from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a midday lunch break.  After that, trial will generally run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with no lunch break - just two breaks of approximately 20 minutes each.  Trial lawyers are expected to be in court at least 30 minutes before the trial day begins.
  8. Consistent with local practice and FRCP 50(a), a party may be deemed to have rested its case if that party runs out of witnesses before the end of a trial day.

Criminal Procedures
  1. Federal law enforcement agents and the U.S. 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. Before any bail review hearing, defense counsel is directed to have a face-to-face or telephonic/video discussion with the assigned AUSA regarding the defense request. Defense counsel are further directed to provide any relevant information (including accurate contact information for potential sureties) to the Pretrial Services Agency at least one full business day before the hearing. 
  3. Document Duty E-Filing Requirements - Per the Court's e-filing pilot project, the government will e-mail items to Judge Wilner's criminal mailbox (MRW_crimduty@cacd.uscourts.gov).  Electronic copies of all documents - warrants, complaints, and supporting affidavits - must be in Microsoft Word format (in addition to ECF-filed PDFs).  All warrants / criminal complaints will be attested by telephone pursuant to Rule 4.1 during the coronavirus outbreak.  Please call Judge Wilner's CRD with further questions.
General Procedures
  1. For hearings that the Court designates as "hybrid," the parties have the option to appear in person or by video.  Unless otherwise directed, all parties must respond to the Clerk no later than two business days before the hearing to confirm in-person or video attendance.  Note that Judge Wilner will be present in the courtroom.
  2. Requests to reschedule a hearing, conference, or other proceeding must be electronically filed with the Court. The parties must contact the courtroom deputy clerk as soon as the need to reschedule a proceeding is discovered.  Consistent with local federal practice, no lawyer should ever file a "Notice of Unavailability" or similar document.  That is not an acceptable method to reschedule a court event or avoid a court appearance. 
  3. The parties are not allowed to contact or communicate with the judge or his law clerks in any manner without express authorization from the Court. Letters to chambers are strictly forbidden and may lead to sanctions against the offending party as provided under the Local Rules.
  4. For general information on how to order a transcript of any reported or digitally recorded proceeding, please contact 213-894-3015 or visit the Court's website (www.cacd.uscourts.gov) at the section regarding Court Reporter/Recorder Transcripts. If you require an estimate of cost for the preparation of a transcript, contact the court reporter/recorder for the desired proceeding.