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Motion Practice

  1. Scheduling
    1. Motions to dismiss may be filed at any time. Motions for summary judgment should generally be filed following the close of discovery. The court will issue a filing date for motions in limine at the final pretrial conference.
    2. After a motion is filed, the case manager will generally set a date for a hearing. The dates are firm and extensions will be granted only for good cause shown. Again, counsel desiring an extension should contact the case manager.
  2. Protective Orders

    Protective orders shall not be entered routinely. In addition to the requirements under E.D. Mich. Local Rule 5.3, which are to be strictly followed, a protective order including a provision for filing a pleading, paper or exhibit, etc. under seal shall be subject to the following limitations: The entire pleading, paper, exhibit, etc. may not be filed under seal. Only the portion of the document(s) which are not to be publically disclosed may be filed under seal. In such instances, the portion to be filed under seal requires an endorsement by the Court on a cover page. A party's presentment to the Court for the endorsement shall be accompanied by an explanation why the portion of the document(s) is confidential.

  3. Briefing Guidelines
    1. Requirements for All Motions.

      The parties must index and tab their exhibits. The two or three most relevant cases must be attached as exhibits. Briefs must contain a table of contents and an index of authorities.

      The parties must provide the Court with a Judge's Copy of all motions and briefs filed in support of and in opposition to motions. The parties must also provide the Court with a Judge's Copy of all exhibits filed in relation to a motion. The Judge's Copy of Exhibits should also be indexed and tabbed. In addition, on the Judge's Copy of the Exhibits the relevant parts of all exhibits, including deposition transcripts and cases, must be highlighted

    2. Motions for Summary Judgment

      Before filing or responding to motions for summary judgment, the parties are urged to familiarize themselves with Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S 317 (1986), Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986), and Matsishita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574 (1986). An excellent summary of these cases appears in Street v. J.C Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472 (6th Cir. 1989)

      1. The moving party's papers shall include a separate document entitled Statement of Material Facts Not in Dispute. The statement shall list in separately numbered paragraphs concise statements of each undisputed material fact, supported by appropriate citations to the record. The Statement shall include all necessary material facts that, if undisputed, would result in summary judgment for the movant

      2. In response, the opposing party shall file a separate document entitled Counter-Statement of Disputed Facts. The counter-statement shall list in separately numbered paragraphs following the order of the movant's statement, whether each of the facts asserted by the moving party is admitted or denied and shall also be supported by appropriate citations to the record. The Counter-Statement shall also include, in a separate section, a list of each issue of material fact as to which it is contended there is a genuine issue for trial.
      3. All material facts as set forth in the Statement of Material Facts Not in Dispute shall be deemed admitted unless controverted in the Counter-Statement of Disputed Facts.

      4. The statements shall be non-argumentative and avoid the use of color words or distortions of the record in a party's favor. Conclusory, speculative, or conjectural statements in support of a position shall be avoided. Hearsay statements and other inadmissible evidence cannot be considered.

      5. Facts stated in the Statement of Material Facts Not In Dispute and Counter-Statement of Disputed Facts shall be supported with appropriate citations to the record, including but not limited to the pleadings, interrogatories, admissions, depositions, affidavits and documentary exhibits. Citations to the record must be specific i.e., cite to a discrete page or portion of deposition testimony or page(s) of documentary evidence, not simply the entire deposition or document. The appropriate portion of the text of a source cited shall be highlighted and filed with the Court as part of an appendix separate from the brief. It is preferred that only the cited excerpts of depositions, as opposed to the entire deposition, be filed. The text cited shall be placed in proper context. The appendix shall contain an index and shall be tabbed.

      6. The Statement of Material Facts Not In Dispute and Counter-Statement of Disputed Facts are not included in calculating the length of the brief.

      7. Counsel are discouraged from employing elaborate boilerplate recitations of the summary judgment standard or lengthy string citations in support of well established legal principles. Instead, counsel should focus their analysis on a few well chosen cases, preferably recent and from controlling courts. Counsel are encouraged to supply the Court with copies of their main cases, with the relevant passage highlighted and tabbed. Further exhibits should be highlighted and tabbed (deposition transcripts, documents).
    3. Other Motions

      Although the above requirements are for motions for summary judgment, counsel are strongly encouraged to follow them to the fullest extent possible for other motions, such as motions for entry of judgment and motions to dismiss.

    4. Ruling on Motions.

      The court endeavors to decide pending motions promptly, ordinarily within three weeks after a hearing, or within two weeks after the time for a response has passed without a response being filed. Complex motions or those raising novel issues may require additional time to conclude. If a motion has been pending in chambers without resolution for an apparently inordinate time, counsel are asked to notify the court's case manager, in writing (jointly if possible), as to the status of the motion. Such notification is a service that is appreciated by the court.

    5. Page Limits for Briefs.

      The court does not grant motions to extend the page limits for briefs provided under the local court rules, unless warranted by a unique/novel question of law or other extraordinary circumstances.

      Any briefs filed in excess of the page limitations set forth in E.D. Mich. Local Rule 7.1 will be stricken.


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