J. Ronnie Greer, United States District Judge
1. Written correspondence from counsel to the court.
Judge Greer discourages written correspondence from counsel except on minor uncontested matters and only if copied to all other counsel. Counsel should not copy the court on correspondence between counsel. Where counsel seeks an order on a contested matter, a formal motion must be filed.
2. Communication between counsel and the Judge's law clerks.
Judge Greer permits ex parte communication between counsel and the Judge's law clerks but such communications shall not address the merits of the case or any pending motion.
3. Preference for the use of telephone conferences rather than in-person conferences for any category of conferences that you schedule in connection with a case.
The use of telephone conferences rather than in-person conferences are encouraged for all matters. Telephone conferences may be scheduled through communication with the Judge's law clerk assigned to the case.
4. Preference regarding pro hac vice admissions.
Judge Greer follows the procedure set forth in Local Rule 83.5.
5. Preference regarding oral arguments on motions.
Judge Greer considers requests for oral argument on a case by case basis. Counsel seeking oral argument should include a formal request for argument in their pleading. Oral argument will generally be granted if requested and the court finds that oral argument will significantly aid the decision making process.
6. Preference for courtesy copies of motions, briefs, and other writings for chambers.
Judge Greer neither requires nor prefers courtesy copies to be submitted to chambers or to the Clerk.
7. Standard form for scheduling order(s).
A copy of Judge Greer's form scheduling order is on the court's web site.
8. Preferences regarding Federal Rule 16.
Judge Greer adheres to the requirements of both Rule 16 and Rule 26. Counsel are required to follow the requirements of Rule 26(f). However, Judge Greer does not generally conduct in-person scheduling conferences. The Court will enter a scheduling order based on the parties’ Rule 26(f) Report. If the parties request an in-person conference, they should file an appropriate request.
9. Preferences regarding Federal Rule 26.
Same as above.
10. The extent to which counsel may influence the length of the discovery period, extensions, trial dates, etc.
Judge Greer generally relies upon counsel to apprise the Court in the Rule 26(f) Report with respect to the length of time required to complete discovery and prepare the case for trial and will routinely grant requests to set trial dates within 18 months of filing the Rule 26(f) Report. After that, continuances will rarely be granted and only for exceptional reasons. Discovery deadlines may be modified upon a showing of good cause. However, the case will not be stayed due to a pending dispositive motion unless the Court grants a party’s motion to stay.
11. The average amount of time allowed for discovery in a standard case.
Judge Greer generally allows six (6) to eight (8) months for the completion of discovery in most cases.
12. Preferred approach and procedures for handling discovery conferences and disputes.
Discovery disputes will generally be handled via telephone conference only after counsel have attempted in good faith to resolve them.
13. Preferences regarding the handling of confidentiality agreements.
Judge Greer has no particular preferences.
14. Preferences regarding requests for additional pages in excess of the page limitations set forth in Local Rule 7.1(b).
Judge Greer will rarely grant requests to exceed the page limitations set forth in Local Rule 7.1(b).
15. Preferences and procedure regarding scheduling trials, including whether a date certain for trial is assigned; if so, the amount of time prior to trial that such a date certain is assigned; and the extent to which it may be moved during the month in which it has been scheduled.
Trial dates are set at the initial scheduling conference. Once set, continuances will rarely be granted and only for exceptional reasons.
16. How needs of out-of-town parties, attorneys, or witnesses are accommodated.
Trial dates are set well in advance of trial. Attorneys are responsible for having witnesses present and available to testify when called.
17. Preferences regarding the delivery of written reports to the court by expert witnesses who are scheduled to testify.
Generally, expert reports should not be delivered to the court.
18. Preferences regarding the submission of trial briefs by counsel.
Judge Greer prefers that pretrial memoranda should be submitted at least two (2) business days before trial. Post trial briefs should generally be submitted within ten (10) days of trial. Both should comply with the page limitations set forth in Local Rule 7.1(b).
19. Counsel participation in voir dire.
Judge Greer will conduct preliminary voir dire in criminal cases but allows counsel to conduct additional voir dire. Judge Greer will generally allow counsel to conduct voir dire in civil cases. Judge Greer will allow back strikes.
20. Time limits for opening and closing statements at trial.
Judge Greer has not set time limits for opening and closing statements at trial but will do so on a case by case basis.
21. Preference for counsel to examine witnesses from counsel table or elsewhere, including whether you prefer counsel to remain seated while examining witnesses.
Judge Greer requires counsel to comply with the requirements of Local Rule 83.3.
22. Whether more than one attorney may handle trial for a party.
Judge Greer permits more than one (1) attorney to handle a trial for a party; however, only one attorney for a party may examine or cross examine a witness.
23. Preference for handling sidebar conferences.
Judge Greer discourages the use of sidebar conferences.
24. Preference or requirements for introducing videotaped testimony.
Judge Greer has no preference or requirements.
25. Pre-marking of documentary and photographic exhibits and other demonstrative evidence for trial and the date upon which exchange of exhibits is to take place, if any.
Judge Greer's requirements for the pre-marking of exhibits are set forth in his scheduling order.
26. Preference for the moving of exhibits into evidence at trial.
Judge Greer has no preference.
27. Allowance of examination of witnesses beyond redirect and recross.
Judge Greer generally does not permit examination of witnesses beyond redirect and recross.
28. Special requirements for reading of depositions or other material onto the record at trial.
Judge Greer has no special requirements.
29. Preference for written motion and/or brief for judgment as a matter of law or judgment on the pleadings when such motion is made during trial.
Judge Greer does not require a written motion and/or brief for such matters.
30. Approach to in limine motions.
Judge Greer's procedure for in limine motions is set forth in his form scheduling order.
31. Practice for the receipt of proposed jury instructions, including the form of jury instruction.
Judge Greer's procedure for proposed jury instructions is set forth in his form scheduling order and Local Rule 51.1.
32. Note-Taking by jurors.
Judge Greer permits note taking by jurors.
33. Whether the jury may take exhibits into the jury room for deliberation and, if so, any limits.
Judge Greer allows the jury to take exhibits into the jury room for deliberation.
34. Preference regarding the submission of written verdict forms (in the form of interrogatory questions) to the jury.
Judge Greer routinely submits verdict forms. Counsel are required to submit proposed verdict forms for consideration by the court.
35. Written jury instructions provided to the jury.
Judge Greer will submit a written copy of the charge to the jury.
36. Requirements as to counsel's whereabouts during jury deliberations.
Counsel who leave the vicinity of the courtroom during jury deliberation should notify the courtroom deputy of his or her whereabouts and be able to return to court within ten (10) minutes of being notified to do so.
37. Whether counsel may speak with the jurors after a verdict has been rendered and recorded and, if a jury is polled, who conducts the polling.
Judge Greer adheres to Local Rule 48.1 with regard to interrogation of jurors after a trial has concluded. If the jury is polled, Judge Greer will conduct the polling.
38. Handling requests for temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, and other emergency relief.
Judge Greer has no special procedure for requests for tro's and other emergency relief. These will be decided in accordance with Rule 65.
39. As to injunctions, whether expedited discovery and briefing is allowed and, if so, whether briefing is allowed before or after any preliminary injunction hearing, and whether proposed findings of fact or conclusions of law in such cases are required.
Judge Greer has no special procedures but will generally allow sufficient expedited discovery necessary to permit informed findings of fact. Briefing is allowed as in other cases.
40. Prefer to receive copies of appellate filings when an appeal has been taken from an order.
Copies of appellate filings should not be copied to Judge Greer.
41. General approach to settlement in non-jury cases and use of magistrate judges.
Judge Greer strongly endorses the use of arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods and will generally order mediation pursuant to Local Rule 16.4 if the parties do not agree to do so.