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Civil Litigation & Procedure

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May 15, 2019
Melissa J. Whitney

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.

March 11, 2019
Margaret S. Williams, Emery G. Lee, Jason A. Cantone

This report examines the use of plaintiff fact sheets and related case management tools in multidistrict litigation.

March 8, 2019
David A. Sanders

Social Security disability cases pose many challenges. In practice, federal court review of Social Security agency decisions differs widely from district to district and from circuit to circuit. This pocket guide is a primer for judges deciding Social Security disability appeals at the district court level. It addresses issues that regularly arise in these appeals and highlights relevant provisions in the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the Federal Register.

Downloadable file:
January 18, 2019
James D. Garbolino

Monzon v. De La Roca, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34763 (3d Cir. Dec. 7, 2018)

Commencement of Proceedings Defined | Article 12 Defense | Settlement

January 18, 2019
James D. Garbolino

Fernandez v. Bailey, 909 F.3d 353 (11th Cir. 2018)

Article 18 Discretion to Return Child | Settlement | Repeated Abductions

Article 18 of the1980 Hague Convention provides that “[t]he provisions of this Chapter do not limit the power of a judicial or administrative authority to order the return of the child at any time.” This case examines the parameters of the court’s discretion to order a child returned to his or her habitual residence despite an abducting parent’s successful establishment of an Article 12 defense.

December 1, 2018

Beginning as early as May 1, 2017, some district courts are participating in a three-year pilot project known as the “Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project,” which is studying whether requiring parties in civil cases to respond to a series of standard discovery requests before undertaking other discovery reduces the cost and delay of civil litigation.

December 1, 2018

Beginning on June 1, 2017, the Northern District of Illinois is participating in a three-year pilot project known as the “Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project,” which is studying whether requiring parties in civil cases to respond to a series of standard discovery requests before undertaking other discovery reduces the cost and delay of civil litigation.

November 1, 2018

A checklist itemizing the procedural requirements of the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project. The checklist is designed to be helpful to judges presiding over pilot cases and to attorneys participating in pilot cases as pilot requirements apply to the initial stages of discovery. The pilot project is scheduled to begin in participating courts as early as May 1, 2017.

Currently there are two courts participating in this pilot project:

November 1, 2018

A detailed description of the Mandatory Initial Discovery Pilot Project, which began in participating courts as early as May 1, 2017.

Currently there are two courts participating in this pilot project:

June 1, 2018
Melissa J. Whitney

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.

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