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Case Management

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This pocket guide was created to provide transferee judges handling multidistrict litigation (MDL) with an overview of the bellwether trial process. Bellwether trials are one of many case-management tools available to MDL transferee judges. Although bellwether trials are not appropriate for every MDL proceeding, this guide outlines practical considerations for establishing and implementing bellwether protocols in proceedings where a court chooses to utilize them. Examples of past bellwether protocols are provided throughout the guide as potential models for future orders and to demonstrate the flexibility that courts have in designing bellwether trial strategies that are well-suited to the demands of particular MDL proceedings.

In Print: Available for Distribution

Science tutorials have developed as a tool to assist judges in managing cases that involve complex science and technology. Such tutorials provide an early opportunity for the court to learn and ask questions about relevant science and technology outside the context of motion practice. Courts should consider holding science tutorials in cases that involve recent scientific findings or newer technologies, where scientific assertions are central to claims or defenses, or when scientific or technological information is likely to play a large role in later dispositive motions. This guide provides an overview of practical considerations to help judges plan and conduct science tutorials effectively.

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This dramatic reenactment provides an example and insights of how mediation between a prison inmate and relevant state officials unfolds.  Guided by an experienced mediator, both sides present and discuss their cases, with the goal to achieve a mutually agreed upon resolution. 

In Print: Available for Distribution

The concluding volume of the series covers debates concerning structural changes to the federal courts, including the creation of the U.S. magistrate and U.S. bankruptcy judge positions, and alterations to the federal appellate system, including the division of the Fifth Circuit, the creation of the Federal Circuit, and proposals for a national court of appeals. A section on criminal justice reform recounts debates over access to counsel for indigent defendants, detention before trial, habeas corpus, and the creation of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The volume also covers proposed civil justice initiatives regarding diversity jurisdiction, class actions, case management, alternative dispute resolution, and the creation of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and concludes with discussions on the discipline of federal judges, including proposals for a nonimpeachment method for judicial removal.  

Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure calls for “the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.” Section 1983 inmate civil rights cases can thwart that expectation, and such cases represent about 11% of civil cases filed nationwide. In an effort to reduce the amount of time these cases consume and their costs, the District of Nevada developed an inmate early mediation program that has enjoyed marked success. Court to Court visited the district court in Reno to learn why the program has been so successful. 

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This repository of materials was developed as a companion to the manual, Navigating Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code, to provide courts with examples of case documents and other resource materials related to issues likely to arise in Chapter 9 cases. Documents are included from cases filed by variety of debtors: cities, townships, and counties; medical-related entities, such as county hospitals and authorities; and political subdivisions, such as sanitary and improvement districts, water districts, and off-track betting authorities.

The materials have been placed into the following categories. Some documents relating to multiple categories have been placed in the most relevant categories and cross-references are made between the categories. Some significant documents have been put into more than one category.

We welcome suggestions about other materials that may be helpful to courts for inclusion in the Chapter 9 repository. Please send your ideas and materials to Beth Wiggins at ch9bankr_repository@fjc.gov.

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Appendix B: Sample Case-Management Orders

This page is an appendix to Remote Participation in Bankruptcy Court Proceedings.

This page includes case-management orders from several cases. The “Notice of the Commencement of the Case” may include notice and procedure related to matters such as filing objections to the petitions and filing proofs of claim. See also Notice and Websites

Case-Management Orders is one of several Chapter 9 Online Repository categories.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This third edition of the pocket guide on managing the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) covers the December 1, 2015, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and reflects the rise of new sources of ESI, particularly social media, and updates judges on how ESI may be searched. It also suggests case-management techniques that judges might use in smaller civil actions in which the costs of ESI discovery could hamper resolution on the merits.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This guide focuses on case-management practices that may be helpful to the courts in the adjudication of patent infringement damages. It reflects the current state of the law and the courts' evolving case-management efforts.

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