Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

Honorable Steve Kim

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Magistrate Judge

Roybal Federal Building and United States Courthouse
255 E. Temple Street, Courtroom 540, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90012

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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: Unless otherwise directed by the Court, civil motions are heard on Wednesdays at 10:00 AM. Counsel should check the Closed Motion Dates before filing a motion; otherwise, it is unnecessary to clear a civil motion hearing date with the Courtroom Deputy Clerk (CRD) before filing a motion. The Court may continue a motion sua sponte or take a motion under submission without oral argument at any time.
  • Criminal Motions: In criminal cases, the parties must contact the CRD to schedule hearings on motions or applications.
  • Pro Se Prisoners: Parties in federal or state custody and proceeding pro se need not notice a hearing date for motions. The Court will order and schedule a hearing in its discretion.
  • Consent Calendar: Judge Kim presides over civil cases under the Voluntary Consent Program and the Direct Assignment Program. For optimal case management, parties should contact the Court's CRD as soon as practicable to secure the earliest mutually agreeable dates on the Court's consent calendar. There are no adverse substantive consequences for declining consent. JURY TRIALS RESUMED EFFECTIVE JUNE 7, 2021, SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS SET FORTH IN GO 21-07.
Judge's Procedures: 
  1. Discovery Motions: Unless otherwise ordered, parties must raise discovery motions in accordance with Local Rules 37-1 to 37-3. Discovery-related filings must include in the caption: “[Discovery Document: Referred to Magistrate Judge Steve Kim].” Before filing a discovery motion, counsel must meet-and-confer in person if they are located within the same county. L.R. 37-1. Failure to comply with this rule may lead to summary dismissal of the motion without further notice. Disputed discovery requests involving the same issue(s) should be logically grouped under one section in the parties' Joint Stipulation with a consolidated position statement by each side. L.R. 37-2.1. Absent an emergency, ex parte applications are not an allowed method of bringing a discovery dispute to the attention of the Court. L.R. 37-3. The Court may take a discovery motion under submission without oral argument at any time

    Before filing a discovery motion, counsel must read and be familiar with Judge Kim's Standing Order on Discovery Disputes, which is available for download below. Parties are also encouraged to use the court's ESI Conference Checklist (or any similar checklist readily available to the public) to aid Rule 26(f) discussions about ESI and the Court's Model Stipulated E-Discovery Order, which is available for download in Word version and may be modified as needed.

  2. Informal Discovery Conferences: With the agreement of the parties, the Court may in its discretion conduct informal (telephonic or video) conferences to resolve discovery disputes outside the formal Local Rule 37 procedures. Before any such informal conference, however, the parties must engage in at least two attempts to resolve the dispute without court involvement consistent with the pre-filing conference of counsel required by Local Rule 37-1. If after two meet-and-confer attempts, the parties reach an impasse and agree to an informal telephonic conference with the Court, the moving party should email (with a cc to the opposing party) the completed form entitled "Request for Informal Discovery Conference" (available for download below), to the CRD, providing the following information: (a) at least three proposed dates and times, agreeable to the parties, for the telephonic conference; (b) a brief, neutral statement of the discovery dispute and the specific relief requested; (c) a brief summary of the parties' respective positions; and (d) the two dates of the parties' meet-and-confer efforts to resolve the dispute without court intervention. After its review of the email request, the Court will schedule the informal conference if appropriate or advise the parties to proceed by motion under Local Rule 37-2.

  3. Tentative Rulings: Tentative rulings may be issued as appropriate. If issued, they will be made available to counsel no later than the time that counsel check in with the CRD on the day of the hearing. If all parties submit on the tentative ruling, they shall advise the CRD and no appearance will be required.

  4. Court Appearances: Unless otherwise ordered, counsel of record must appear in person for all court proceedings. Remote appearances (by telephone or video) for civil court proceedings—except for ex parte applications as ordered below—will not be permitted if counsel for both sides are located within Los Angeles County, unless there are extraordinary reasons. Counsel wishing to request a remote appearance in civil cases must do so in writing by no later than 14 calendar days before the noticed hearing date, with the understanding that in certain cases the Court may be limited by any applicable bans or restrictions on live streaming or broadcasting of audio or video to the public. All criminal court proceedings must be conducted in person, except as otherwise authorized by law and ordered by the Court.  Fed. R. Crim. P. 53.

    The Court strongly encourages parties to permit young lawyers (with five years or less experience) who are counsel of record to appear in court at hearings. Therefore, in any case where a motion has been submitted for decision without oral argument or a properly-noticed hearing date has been vacated sua sponte without final disposition of the motion, the counsel may contact the CRD and request that a hearing be held to allow the young attorney(s) to appear. So long as there is no irreconcilable scheduling conflict, the Court will hold such hearings to give young attorneys an opportunity to make court appearances.

  5. Extensions or Continuances: Requests to extend any deadlines or to continue any hearings (either by ex parte application or stipulation) must be filed at least three business days before the scheduled deadline or hearing. The request must detail good cause for the extension or continuance, whether any extensions or continuances were sought before, and whether those were granted or denied. If it is absolutely necessary for a party to file an opposed ex parte application to request an extension of time or continuance of a hearing, the application must forthrightly describe the basis and details of the opposing party’s position.

  6. Ex Parte Applications: Ex parte applications must be filed in accordance with Local Rule 7-19, and they must identify in the caption whether it is “OPPOSED” or “UNOPPOSED.” Any opposition must be filed within 24 hours of electronic filing of the application. Ex parte applications will ordinarily be decided on the papers without oral argument. The Court will notify the parties if it desires a hearing, including a remote hearing. If the opposing party is in custody, the requesting party need not provide oral notice before filing but must undertake reasonable efforts to provide notice in writing. Any party relying on this procedure must state in the application that the party is in custody and describe the steps that have been (or will be) taken to provide the person in custody with prompt notice. 

  7. Protective Orders: Absent unusual circumstances, parties shall prepare their protective orders based on the model protective order that is available for download below. When the parties submit a protective order based on this model order, a redline in Microsoft Word format shall also be provided by email to Chambers at SK_Chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov (link sends e-mail) that shows all differences between the submitted order and model order. All proposed orders approving stipulated protective orders shall be submitted in Microsoft Word format with the full text of the stipulated protective order. 

  8. Settlement Conferences: The parties must contact the CRD about dates available for settlement conferences. The proposed date(s) must be at least three weeks in advance. However, counsel are advised that Judge Kim's settlement calendar is routinely booked at least two months ahead; therefore, requests for settlement conferences sooner than that may not be accommodated. The parties must secure any necessary extension of the District Judge's ADR deadline before setting a date with Judge Kim. After the date is selected, the Court will issue an order regarding settlement conference procedures. SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES RESUMED IN-PERSON EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2021.  Remote settlement conferences by video may be granted case by case for good reason upon agreement of all affected parties and with Judge Kim’s assent. But the fact that any party or counsel may have to travel (and incur associated direct and indirect costs) is not—by itself—adequate reason for a remote settlement conference.

  9. Under Seal Documents: Parties and counsel in civil cases shall follow the procedures outlined in Local Rule 79-5 for filing under seal documents. Parties and counsel may consult the Guide to Electronically Filing Under Seal Documents in Civil Cases, which is available for download below. In criminal cases, all proposed sealed documents shall be submitted via e-mail to the Chambers e-mail address at SK_Chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov (link sends e-mail) and comply with the procedures set forth in the Order regarding the Pilot Project for Electronic Submission and Filing of Under Seal Documents for Criminal Cases, which is also available for download below.

  10. Criminal Document Duty: In accordance with General Order 19-01, government counsel are directed to email proposed documents to: SK_CrimDuty@cacd.uscourts.gov (link sends e-mail). EFFECTIVE AUGUST 15, 2021, unless otherwise ordered, all agents must report to Chambers in person with one conformed copy of a criminal application to subscribe and swear to any affidavits in support of applications for warrants, complaints, and other orders requiring supporting affidavits.  Only agents whose reporting station is located outside Los Angeles County, or who can establish good cause beyond the press of ordinary business and customary duties, may request to have their affidavits attested to by remote electronic means in accordance with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(d)(3). In cases approved for remote appearances, agents must be available to attest by means of video appearance (Zoom or Teams) with a copy of their affidavits in hand. Telephonic appearances will be allowed only in exceptional circumstances where quality video broadband capacity is lacking.

  11. Citation Format: Although not required, the Court prefers and encourages the use of hyperlinks for citations to legal authorities or docket entries in filings by represented parties, whenever practicable. For technical assistance, a guide to hyperlinking in documents is available for download below. When no reporter cite is available for a case citation, counsel for represented parties are requested to cite Westlaw instead of Lexis.

  12. Communications with the Court: Inquiries regarding the status of a motion, stipulation, or proposed order shall be made by checking the docket. If such information does not timely appear on the docket when expected, counsel may sparingly contact the CRD for status inquiries. Parties and counsel are not allowed to contact the Court’s law clerks or to communicate with Chambers by any means, except as expressly provided herein or otherwise ordered by the Court.

  13. Transcripts: For information on ordering transcripts of a reported or digitally recorded proceeding, the parties must refer to Court Reporting Services.

  14. Interpreters: It is the responsibility of the parties to obtain the services of an interpreter in a civil case if one is needed. If the government is the moving party, the government shall contact the CRD. For further information, the parties are referred to Interpreter Services.

  15. Clerkships: Prospective law clerk applicants should submit via https://oscar.uscourts.gov or via email (sk_chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov) a cover letter, law school and undergraduate transcripts, resume, and recent unedited writing sample.  Letters of recommendation may be submitted or sent in later.