When your district gets two new judges in the same month you get – two new orders assigning civil & criminal actions, and not always just to the judges you’d expect.
Currently, EDTX jury wheels draw from lists of registered voters. Other courts, such as, for example the adjacent Northern District of Texas, draw from voter lists and drivers license lists, and eliminate duplicates. The EDTX proposes to change to a similar system including drivers licenses. If the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council approves, the change will take effect on January 1, 2020. (I know they don’t actually use rotating drums with slips of paper any more, but I’m fond of the old terminology).
Last December General Order 18-10 made a number of changes to the EDTX local rules. A significant one was amendment of the patent local rules dealing with expert disclosures in connection with claim construction. A recent opinion applies that change and provides some new guidance on what the requirements mean.
Whenever the makeup on a district court’s bench changes, though retirements or the addition of new judges, the docket is reallocated. Last week saw a significant reallocation of the Eastern District’s cases due to the arrival on the bench of Judge Jeremy Kernodle in Tyler and changes in Senior Judge Ron Clark’s docket. I wanted to go through the changes and what they mean in the affected divisions.
As readers know, the EDTX local rules were amended effective yesterday by a general order issued several weeks ago. The effective date was timed to make the changes concurrent with changes to the FRCPs. The important change in the rules this year deals with certificates of service, so I wanted to go over that briefly.
This afternoon saw entry of an order amending the local rules, including the patent local rules, effective December 1, 2018. As is usually the case, many of the changes or minor and don’t affect practice all that much, but this year there are several significant ones that I want to discuss.
Federal district courts have a practice of issuing what are referred to as “General Orders”, and I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss what those orders cover, as well as mention a recent one regarding courthouse security that takes effect in coming weeks.
While I was cavorting in Plano last week, the Court issued General Order 17-24, which is the annual revisions to the local rules. Public commentary regarding the local rule amendments is being accepted through Thursday, November 30 , 2017. Comments should be sent to
U.S. District Clerk David O’Toole
William Steger U.S. Courthouse, Room 106
211 West Ferguson St.
Tyler, TX 75702,
The rule amendments will be effective December 1, 2017 unless otherwise noted in the general order (so as to coincide with the FRCP amendments).
The two that will be of the most interest to practitioners will be those changing (1) the procedures for filing under seal; and (2) the procedures for summary judgment briefing, but there are a few others that deserve brief mention.
The Beaumont division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas will resume normal operations on Monday, September 18, 2017. Please refer to General Order 17-14 regarding filing deadlines and General Order 17-17 regarding continuances that may have been affected by the court closure.
The photo on the left shows the current state of Interstate 10 outside Beaumont. Accordingly, the Court has announced that the EDTX courthouses in Beaumont and Lufkin are closed until Tuesday, September 5. In General Order No. 17-14, Judge Clark states: Counsel or Parties who believe that deadlines for filing of any motion in a pending case have been, or will be, immediately affected by the recent flooding in Texas may be offered relief by the filing of a motion for extension, even if past the filing deadline. Any late-filed request for extension should set forth in detail the circumstances for such late filing. The Court’s electronic filing system remains available and will be monitored for emergency matters.