Changes to EDTX Jury Wheel

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).

Reassignment of EDTX Civil & Criminal Actions

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.

General Order 17-24; Local Rule Amendments (Filing of Sealed Documents & Summary Judgment Procedures)

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,

or to sends e-mail).

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.

Harvey-related courthouse closures & deadline extension information

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.