Code Revision Commission et al v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc.
STANDING ORDER REGARDING CIVIL LITIGATION, Signed by Judge Mark H. Cohen on 7/22/15. (jpa)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
CASES ASSIGNED TO
JUDGE MARK H. COHEN
STANDING ORDER REGARDING CIVIL LITIGATION
This case has been assigned to Judge Mark H. Cohen. The purpose of this
Order is to inform the parties and their counsel of the Court’s policies, practices,
and procedures. It is issued to promote the just and efficient determination of the
case. This Order, in combination with this Court’s Local Rules and the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure (and, if applicable, the rules and practices of the assigned
magistrate judge1), shall govern this case.
For all civil cases assigned to a Magistrate Judge of this District, that Magistrate Judge’s rules and practices govern
that case while so assigned.
Julee Smilley, our Courtroom Deputy Clerk, is your principal point of
contact on matters relating to this case. Where possible, communication with Ms.
Smilley should be by telephone (404-215-1315) or by e-mail
(Julee_Smilley@gand.uscourts.gov). Mailed, couriered, and hand-delivered
communications should be addressed as follows:
Ms. Julee Smilley
Courtroom Deputy Clerk
1909 United States Courthouse
75 Spring Street, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3309
If the parties are unable to reach Ms. Smilley, they should call the chambers
main line (404-215-1310) for assistance. Neither the parties nor their counsel
should discuss the merits of the case with Ms. Smilley or any of the Court’s law
Courtesy Copies of Documents
Except for emergency motions filed pursuant to the Local Rules of the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (“LR”),
specifically LR 7.2B, or motions for temporary restraining orders, the delivery of a
hard copy of a document in addition to the electronically filed copy is not
necessary, as the Court prefers to rely on its electronic access to court filings.
Courtesy copies of such emergency motions and motions for temporary restraining
orders should be hand-delivered to chambers in Room 1909 on the 19th floor of
the Richard B. Russell Building or to the Courtroom Deputy Clerk at the aboveprovided address. The Court may occasionally request a courtesy copy of
pleadings but, if they are needed, Ms. Smilley will contact counsel.
Local Counsel in Cases with Counsel Admitted Pro Hac
In the event that lead counsel has been admitted pro hac vice, local counsel
is required to be familiar with the case, and may be called upon to attend hearings
or participate in conferences on behalf of the lead counsel.
Electronic Registration for All Counsel
All counsel – including counsel admitted pro hac vice – must register and
participate in the Court’s electronic filing system, the Case Management/Electronic
Case Filing (“CM/ECF”). See this Court’s Standing Order No. 04-01, found in
Appendix H of the LR.
Leaves of Absence
Counsel are encouraged to review their calendars and submit as early as
possible any requests for leave of absence. Leave requests shall comply with
Withdrawal or Substitution of Counsel
It is counsel’s responsibility to keep the Court informed of any change of its
status. Counsel should comply with LR 83.1, when substituting or withdrawing as
Counsel who do not comply with this Local Rule will not be allowed to
withdraw from the case until compliance is achieved.
Corporate entities must be represented in court by an attorney. A corporate
officer may not represent the corporation unless that officer is also licensed to
practice law in the state of Georgia. See LR 83.1. Failure to comply with this rule
can result in dismissal of a corporation’s complaint or default being entered against
Pro Se Litigants
Parties proceeding pro se (without an attorney) are ADVISED that they
must comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Fed. R. Civ. P.”), as well
as the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia (“LR”). Pro se parties may obtain certain basic materials and hand-outs
from the Office of the Clerk of Court located on the 22nd Floor of the United
States Courthouse, 75 Spring Street, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303. Many
documents are also available on the Court’s website at www.gand.uscourts.gov.
Pro se litigants may also utilize the law library located on the 23rd floor of the
United States Courthouse at the above-provided address.
Counsel and parties representing themselves are prohibited from engaging in
ex parte communications with the Court or the Court’s staff. “Ex parte
communications” mean any form of contact with the Court outside the presence of
the opposing party or opposing party’s counsel. This includes, but is not limited
to, telephone calls, written correspondence, or in-person contact, by one party or
party’s counsel. If counsel or a pro se litigant seeks court action, the appropriate
procedure is to put the request in writing, in the form of a motion, file the motion
with the Clerk’s office, and serve the opposing party or party’s counsel. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 5; LR 5.1 and 5.2; see also LR 7.4. (“Communications to judges seeking
a ruling or order, including an extension of time, shall be by motion and not by
letter. A letter seeking such action ordinarily will not be treated as a motion.
Counsel [and pro se litigants] shall not provide the Court with copies of
correspondence among themselves relating to matters in dispute.”).
A pro se plaintiff is REQUIRED to provide the Clerk with an original of
any further pleadings or other papers filed with the Court after the complaint and is
further REQUIRED to SERVE upon the defendant(s) or counsel for the
defendant(s), by mail or by hand delivery under Rule 5 of the Fed. R. Civ. P., a
copy of every additional pleading or other paper described in Rule 5 of the Fed. R.
Civ. P. Once counsel for a defendant has appeared in the case, it is not necessary
to serve the defendant individually; service on counsel is sufficient.
Each pleading or paper described in Rule 5, including pleadings, papers
related to discovery required to be served, motions, notices and similar papers,
shall include a certificate stating the date on which an accurate copy of that
pleading or document was mailed or hand-delivered to the defendant(s) or their
counsel. This Court shall disregard any papers submitted which have not been
properly filed with the Clerk, or which do not include a certificate of service. Pro
se parties are also ADVISED that, under LR 7 (“PLEADINGS ALLOWED;
FORM OF MOTIONS”), if the deadline for a response to a motion passes without
a response being filed, the motion is deemed unopposed. See LR 7.1B.
Furthermore, under LR 56.1, the failure by a respondent to a motion for summary
judgment to contest the movant’s statement of material facts will be taken as an
admission of those facts not objected to in respondent’s statement.
Pro se parties are further REQUIRED to keep the Court advised of their
current address and telephone number where they can be reached at all times
during the pendency of the lawsuit. LR 83.1D (3) provides that counsel and parties
appearing pro se have, in all cases, a duty to notify the Clerk's Office by letter of
any change in address and/or telephone number. Per this rule, “[a] failure to keep
the clerk’s office so informed which causes a delay or otherwise adversely affects
the management of a civil case shall constitute grounds for dismissal without
prejudice or entry of a judgment by default.”
Extensions of Time
The Court, with cooperation from counsel for the parties, is responsible for
processing cases toward prompt and just resolutions. To that end, the Court seeks
to set reasonable but firm deadlines. Motions for extension, whether opposed,
unopposed, or by consent, will not be granted as a matter of course. Parties
seeking an extension should explain with specificity the unanticipated or
unforeseen circumstances necessitating the extension and should set forth a
timetable for the completion of the tasks for which the extension is sought.
Scheduling, discovery, pre-trial, and settlement conferences promote
speedy, just, and efficient resolution of cases. Therefore, the Court encourages the
parties to request a conference when counsel believes that a conference will be
helpful and counsel has specific goals and an agenda for the conference.
Conferences may be requested by contacting the Courtroom Deputy Clerk.
Early Planning Conference
LR 16.1 provides that, prior to filing a Joint Preliminary Report and
Discovery Plan, lead counsel for all parties are required to confer in an effort to
settle the case, discuss discovery, limit issues, and discuss other matters addressed
in the Joint Preliminary Report and Discovery Plan. This Early Planning
Conference may be conducted by lead counsel by telephone.
Counsel and pro se litigants should be guided by courtesy, candor, and
common sense, and should conform to the Fed. R. Civ. P., the LR, and applicable
orders in conducting discovery. In particular, counsel and pro se litigants should
have in mind the restrictions on the scope of discovery stated in Fed. R. Civ. P.
26(b) and the good faith obligations implicit in Rule 26(g). Direct and informal
communication between counsel is encouraged to facilitate discovery and resolve
All discovery must be served early enough so that the responses thereto are
due on or before the last day of the discovery period. Requests for extension of the
discovery period or deadlines within the discovery period must be made in
accordance with LR 26.2B. Motions must be filed prior to the expiration of the
existing discovery period. The Court will not enforce the private agreements
between the parties and/or their counsel to conduct discovery beyond conclusion of
the discovery period. The Court also will not compel responses to discovery
requests that were not served in time for responses to be made before the discovery
The Court does not allow evidence at trial which was requested and not
revealed during the discovery period.
Boilerplate and General Objections
Boilerplate objections in response to discovery requests are strictly
prohibited. Parties should not carelessly invoke the usual litany of rote objections;
i.e., attorney-client privilege, work-product immunity from discovery, overly
broad/unduly burdensome, irrelevant, not reasonably calculated to lead to the
discovery of admissible evidence.
Moreover, general objections are prohibited; i.e., a party shall not include in
a response to a discovery request a “Preamble” or a “General Objections” section
stating that the party objects to the discovery request “to the extent that” it violates
some rule pertaining to discovery; e.g., the attorney-client privilege, work product
immunity from discovery, the requirement that discovery requests be reasonably
calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and the prohibition
against discovery requests that are vague, ambiguous, overly broad, or unduly
burdensome. Instead, each individual discovery request must be met with every
specific objection thereto – but only those objections that actually apply to that
particular request. Otherwise, it is impossible for the Court or the party upon
whom the discovery response is served to know exactly what objections have been
asserted to each individual request. All such general objections shall be
disregarded by the Court.
Finally, a party who objects to a discovery request but then responds to the
request must indicate whether the response is complete; i.e., whether additional
information or documents would have been provided but for the objection(s). For
example, in response to an interrogatory, a party is not permitted to raise objections
and then state, “Subject to these objections and without waiving them, the response
is as follows . . .” unless the party expressly indicates whether additional
information would have been included in the response but for the objection(s).
Notwithstanding LR 37.1, prior to filing any motion related to discovery,
including but not limited to a motion to compel discovery and a motion to quash a
subpoena (except for unopposed, consent, or joint motions to extend the discovery
period), the movant – after conferring with the respondent in a good-faith effort to
resolve the dispute by agreement – must contact Ms. Smilley to notify her that
there is a discovery dispute. Ms. Smilley will then schedule a conference call in
which the Court will attempt to resolve the matter without the necessity of a formal
motion, and a court reporter will be provided by the Court to take down the
conference call. Ms. Smilley may request that each side submit a brief statement
of the issues in advance of the conference.
In addition, if any party has a dispute with a non-party (e.g., regarding a
subpoena), the party and the non-party must follow these instructions, and the
party must promptly inform the non-party of this discovery-dispute policy. If the
non-party requires the Court’s involvement in resolving the dispute, it should not
file a motion, but rather, should follow the procedure detailed in this subparagraph.
The Court is usually available by telephone to resolve objections and
disputes that arise during depositions. Counsel should not hesitate to call the Court
(404-215-1310) if a bona fide dispute arises during a deposition that the parties
cannot resolve despite a good faith effort to do so.
Confidentiality Agreements, Protective Orders, and Motions to
File Documents Under Seal
Because documents filed in Court are presumptively public, this Court
generally does not favor the filing of documents under seal. However, the Court
will agree to the sealing of documents that contain information protected from
disclosure by statute, personal information (such as Social Security numbers), trade
secrets, or sensitive security data. See also Standing Order No. 04-02 regarding
sensitive information and public access to case files. It should be noted that even
these exceptions to public filing usually do not require that entire documents or
pleadings be filed under seal but only those portions of a pleading or document for
which protection is authorized.
If the parties find that a confidentiality agreement or protective order is
necessary, the parties must follow the practice for filing and sealing documents as
described below, and must include the following language in any proposed
agreement or protective order submitted for the Court’s consideration:
Any documents (including briefs), tangible things or information
designated as Confidential that are submitted to the Court in support
of or in opposition to a motion or introduced at a hearing or during
trial may retain their protected confidential status only by order of the
Court in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section F of the
Court’s Standing Order Regarding Civil Litigation.
In the event a party desires to file one or more documents under seal, absent
extraordinary circumstances making prior consultation impractical or
inappropriate, the party seeking to file the document(s) under seal shall first
consult with the counsel for the party who designated the document as confidential
to determine if some measure less restrictive than filing the document under seal
may serve to provide adequate protection. If the parties are unable to agree upon a
less restrictive measure, the following procedures shall apply:
(a) The party or parties desiring to file the document(s) under seal shall
submit to chambers a motion for leave to file under seal and simultaneously enter
on the CM/ECF docket a notice that a motion for leave to file under seal has been
presented to chambers. The party or parties presenting the motion shall bear the
burden of establishing (in the motion) good cause for sealing.
(b) The motion presented to chambers shall (1) identify, with specificity, the
documents or portions thereof for which sealing is requested; (2) state and explain
the reasons that sealing is necessary; (3) explain (for each document or group of
documents) why less drastic alternatives than sealing will not provide adequate
protection; and (4) address the factors governing sealing of documents reflected in
controlling case law (see, e.g., Romero v. Drummond Co., 480 F.3d 1234, 1245-48
(11th Cir. 2007)).
(c) A separately-sealed envelope labeled “Confidential Information to Be
Submitted to the Court in Connection with Motion for Leave to Seal” shall be
submitted with the motion. The envelope shall contain the documents at issue for
the Court’s in camera review.
(d) If the Court determines that the motion is to be denied, then the Court
will contact the filing party, which may then retrieve the motion/materials and
determine whether it wants to file the document without a seal. If the Court
determines that the motion is to be granted, the Court will forward the motion, a
signed order, and accompanying materials to the Clerk of Court for entry of the
motion on the CM/ECF docket and appropriate filing of the sealed materials.
Often, the Court will direct the parties to file (1) a copy of the document(s) at issue
on the public docket after redacting therefrom any clearly private information, and
(2) a sealed copy of the unredacted document(s).
(e) The Clerk may, at the conclusion of the litigation including conclusion of
any appeal, return to counsel or destroy any materials filed under seal. Before
destroying any document filed under seal, the Clerk shall advise all parties of their
option to accept return or destruction and shall allow no less than thirty days from
issuance of the notice for counsel to respond. In the absence of a response, the
Clerk of Court may destroy materials filed under seal.
Electronic Filing of Exhibits and Attachments
The parties should make every effort to label all electronically-uploaded
exhibits and attachments according to their content to assist the Court in making its
ruling. For example, the Court would prefer to have documents uploaded as Ex. A:
Smith Deposition, Ex. B: Employment Contract, and Ex. C: Jones Letter, rather
than Ex. A, Ex. B, and Ex. C.
Motions for Summary Judgment
All citations to the record evidence should be contained in each party’s brief,
not just in the party’s statement of undisputed (or disputed) facts. When filing a
brief in support of or in opposition to a motion for summary judgment, the party
shall simultaneously file an electronic copy of the complete transcript of each
deposition referenced in the brief, and a notice of filing of the deposition
The party should include in the brief, immediately following the deposition
reference, a citation indicating the page and line numbers of the transcript where
the referenced testimony can be found. The party should also attach to the brief a
copy of the specific pages of the deposition that are referenced in the brief. The
party should not attach to the brief a copy of the entire deposition transcript.
Statement of Material Facts and Response
In addition to following the form instructions set out in LR 56.1(B), a party
responding to a statement of material facts shall copy into its response document
the numbered statement to which it is responding and provide its response to that
statement immediately following. A party that chooses to reply to a response shall
copy into its reply document its original numbered statement of material fact and
the opposing party's response, then provide its reply to that statement immediately
following. Each party shall file its documents in a text-searchable PDF format.
Requests for Oral Argument on Motions
In accordance with the LR, motions are usually decided without oral
argument, but the Court will consider any request for hearing if the party or parties
requesting oral argument specify the particular reasons argument may be helpful to
the Court and what issues will be the focus of the proposed argument. Moreover,
the Court shall grant a request for oral argument on a contested, substantive motion
if the request states than an attorney who is less than five years out of law school
will conduct the oral argument on at least one substantial issue in the case, it being
the Court’s belief that young attorneys need more opportunities for Court
appearances than they usually receive.
Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
When counsel is required to submit proposed findings of fact and
conclusions of law (LR 16.4(B)(25)), in addition to electronically filing same,
counsel should provide an electronic copy thereof (in Microsoft Word format) to
the Courtroom Deputy Clerk, at Julee_Smilley@gand.uscourts.gov.
For all consent, unopposed, or joint motions, the filing party shall include
therewith a proposed order granting the motion.
The proposed consolidated Pretrial Order shall be filed no later than thirty
(30) days after the close of discovery, or entry of the Court’s ruling on any pending
motions for summary judgment, whichever is later, unless another specific date has
been set by the Court.
The statement of contentions in the Pretrial Order governs the issues to be
tried. Plaintiff should make certain that all theories of liability are explicitly stated,
together with the type and amount of each type of damage sought. The specific
actionable conduct should be set out and, in a multi-defendant case, the actionable
conduct of each Defendant should be identified. Defendant should explicitly set
out any affirmative defenses upon which it intends to rely at trial, as well as satisfy
the above requirements with respect to any counterclaims.
Prior to listing questions which the parties request that the court propound to
the jurors concerning their legal qualifications to serve or questions which the
parties wish to propound to the jurors on voir dire examination, please review the
qualifying and background questions listed in Exhibits A and B to this Order that
are regularly asked by the Court in all civil trials. Please do not duplicate any of
these questions in your proposed voir dire requests.
The exhibits intended to be introduced at trial shall be specifically identified.
The parties shall mark their exhibits using Arabic numbers (Plaintiff’s Exhibits 1
or Plaintiff Jones-1 if more than one plaintiff, for example). The parties shall
adhere to the guidelines of color coding of exhibit stickers set forth in LR
In listing witnesses or exhibits, a party may not reserve the right to
supplement their list nor may a party adopt another party’s list by reference.
Witnesses and exhibits not identified in the Pretrial Order may not be used during
trial unless a party can establish that the failure to permit their use would cause a
In preparing the Pretrial Order, each party shall identify to opposing counsel
each deposition, interrogatory, or request to admit response, or portion thereof,
which the party expects to or may introduce at trial, except for impeachment. All
exhibits, depositions, and interrogatory and request to admit responses shall be
admitted at trial when offered unless the opposing party indicates an objection to it
in the Pretrial Order.
The Court will conduct a pretrial conference prior to trial. The purpose of
the conference is to simplify the issues to be tried and to rule on evidentiary
objections raised in the pretrial order and motions in limine.
At the pretrial conference, the parties will be required to identify the specific
witnesses that will be called in their case-in-chief. The Court may require the
parties to bring to the pretrial conference those exhibits they plan to introduce at
trial and to which there are objections, so that the Court may consider the
Unless otherwise directed, all motions in limine shall be filed at least
fourteen (14) days before the pretrial conference. Briefs in opposition to motions
in limine should be filed at least seven (7) days before the pretrial conference.
Unless otherwise indicated, the Court will decide motions in limine at the pretrial
The attorneys for all parties are further directed to meet together by
agreement, initiated by counsel for the plaintiff, no later than ten (10) days before
the date of the pretrial conference to (1) discuss settlement, and (2) stipulate to as
many facts and issues as possible.
The Court usually is in session from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. There will be
a fifteen (15) minute recess mid-morning and again mid-afternoon, as well as a
When the jury is in the courtroom, it is the Court’s and the litigants’
responsibility to use the jury’s time efficiently. If matters need to be taken up
outside the presence of the jury, they should be raised during breaks or before the
start of the trial day.
Voir dire will be conducted as follows. In civil cases that are not expected
to last more than one week, the Court will empanel eight jurors. The panel from
which the eight will be selected will normally consist of 18-20 prospective jurors.
The Court will empanel additional jurors for cases expected to last more than one
week. The number to empanel will be determined after receiving input from the
parties. Except in unusual circumstances, no alternates will be empaneled for civil
During voir dire, the Court will briefly inform the jury of the name and
nature of the case and ask a series of qualifying questions contained in the list
attached as Exhibit A. The Court will then ask each juror to verbally respond to a
series of background questions that are contained in the list attached as Exhibit B.
Counsel may request that additional background questions be asked by the Court.
Following the qualifying and background questions asked by the Court, counsel for
each side will be permitted to question the jurors collectively and/or individually
using voir dire questions previously approved by the Court.
The jury will then be excused from the courtroom for a fifteen (15) minute
recess to permit counsel time to review their notes prior to striking the jury. All
challenges for cause will be heard at this time. Prior to returning the jury to the
courtroom, the Court will consider any requests by counsel to ask any brief followup questions to any particular juror(s). After the Court rules on any such requests,
the jury will be brought back into the Courtroom.
After the Court asks the follow-up questions (if any), counsel shall strike the
jury. Each side shall be entitled to three (3) peremptory strikes. The Courtroom
Deputy Clerk will pass the peremptory strike sheet back and forth between
counsel, beginning with plaintiff, and counsel will write one juror number to be
stricken. This will continue until each side has exercised its allotted strikes. The
Court will then call the names of the jurors who have been selected, and they shall
take a seat in the jury box. At this time, counsel may make motions challenging
the makeup of the jury at a sidebar. The remaining panel will be excused, and the
selected jury will be sworn.
Opening statements are generally limited to twenty (20) minutes per side.
Closing arguments generally are limited to thirty (30) minutes per side. Parties
requesting more time for these presentations must seek leave of Court at the
It is each party’s responsibility to have enough witnesses on hand for each
To assist the Court Reporter, all communications to the Court should be
made before a microphone from a position at counsel table or from the lectern.
During trial, a portable microphone is available that will allow counsel to move
about the courtroom. Any witness not testifying from the witness stand must also
use a portable microphone.
Arrangements with the Courtroom Deputy Clerk for the use of chalkboards,
view boxes, tripods, or other visual aids should be made sufficiently in advance so
that they may be set up while court is not in session.
Exhibits must be examined and marked before trial in compliance with LR
16.4. Exhibits need not be shown to counsel during trial for the purpose of
interposing objections or foundational inquires. A notebook containing all exhibits
should be tendered to the Courtroom Deputy Clerk prior to the start of trial, for use
by the Judge on the bench during proceedings.
Because enlarged exhibits and demonstrative boards are often placed on an
easel in front of the jury and thus out of the Court’s view, it would be helpful if
counsel, when showing such an exhibit or board to the jury, would provide the
Court with a small (e.g., letter or legal-sized) copy of the exhibit or board so that
the Court can view its contents.
All papers intended for the Judge should be handed to the Courtroom
Deputy Clerk, who will pass them to the Judge. Counsel are not required to obtain
permission from the Judge to approach a witness in order to show the witness an
exhibit or other document.
Only one attorney per party may object to the testimony of a witness being
questioned by an opposing party. The objection must be made by the attorney who
has conducted or is to conduct the examination of the witness.
Offers or requests for stipulations should be made privately, not within the
hearing of the jury.
Counsel should refrain from putting any matter before the jury in the form of
a question that counsel knows or expects will be subject to an objection that is
likely to be sustained. Such matters should be taken up with the Court outside the
presence of the jury.
Counsel should not ordinarily make motions in the presence of the jury.
Such matters may be raised at the first recess or at sidebar. A motion for mistrial
must be made immediately, but the Court may require argument at the next recess
or excuse the jury. When making an objection, counsel shall state only the legal
basis of the objections (e.g., “leading” or “hearsay”) and should not elaborate,
argue, or refer to other evidence unless asked to do so by the Judge.
Counsel are prohibited from addressing comments or questions to each
other. All arguments, objections, and motions should be addressed to the Court.
The Court expects approximately six hours of testimony per day in jury trials
and will not allow sidebar conferences or lengthy hearings outside the presence of
the jury to disrupt the orderly presentation of evidence.
A single, unified set of requests to charge and proposed verdict forms are
required to be filed no later than seven (7) days before the date of trial and emailed
to the Courtroom Deputy Clerk in Microsoft Word format. Where a proposed
instruction is not agreed upon, the parties should indicate who is proposing the
instruction and the legal basis for the instruction and for the other party’s
opposition to the instruction. Counsel must use the Eleventh Circuit Pattern Jury
Instructions, if applicable. If state law applies, counsel shall use the Suggested
Pattern Jury Instructions by the Council of Superior Court Judges of Georgia.
Charges for which there is not a pattern charge must contain citations to the legal
authorities supporting the charge requested.
Our courtroom has various electronic equipment for use by counsel at trial.
For more information on the equipment, or to schedule an opportunity to test the
equipment, please contact the Courtroom Deputy Clerk. It is the parties’
responsibility to make sure they know how to use the equipment available, to have
the cables necessary to hook up their equipment, and to ensure that their equipment
will interface with the Court’s technology.
A court order is required to bring boxes of exhibits, electronic devices such
as projectors or laptops, etc. – virtually anything necessary for use at trial – into the
courthouse.2 The parties should file a motion, with proposed order, detailing the
Members of the Northern District of Georgia's Bar may apply for an attorney ID card (commonly referred to as the
“Blue Card”). The Blue Card will allow approved attorneys to bring cellular telephones with cameras and some
other electronic equipment into the courthouse without a court order. The procedure for obtaining a Blue Card is
equipment they wish to bring into the courtroom. This should be done not less
than three (3) business days prior to the hearing or trial, to allow for proper
notification to the United States Marshals Service.
IT IS SO ORDERED this ____ day of _________________, 2015.
MARK H. COHEN
United States District Judge
explained on the Court’s website under the “Attorney Information” page. Please contact the U.S. Marshals Service
to clarify what equipment attorneys are permitted to bring into court with a Blue Card.
Does any member of the panel know or are you related to (Plaintiff’s
Does any member of the panel know any employees of, or has any member
of the panel or their immediate family worked for or been represented by the
law firm of _____________________________________________?
Does any member of the panel know or are you related to (Defendant’s
Does any member of the panel know any employees of, or has any member
of the panel or their immediate family worked for or been represented by the
law firm of _____________________________________________?
Does anyone know or are you related to Plaintiff in the case?
Does anyone know or are you related to Defendant in the case?
Does anyone know any of the following individuals who may be witnesses
in this case? [Witnesses listed]
Does anyone believe you know anything about this case or that you have
heard anything about this case before coming to Court today?
Is there any member of the panel who would not accept the law as I give it to
you in my instructions even if you disagree with the law?
Is there any member of the panel who has any special disability or problem
that would make serving as a member of this jury difficult or impossible?
Does any juror hold any belief, religious or otherwise, which discourages or
prevents jury service?
State your name.
In what city and county do you live?
How long have you lived there?
What was your previous county of residence and how long did you live there?
Are you employed?
If so, tell us what kind of work you do – whether you work for someone else or
are you self-employed?
If you work for someone else, for whom do you work?
If you are retired, what kind of work did you do before you retired.
Tell us briefly where else you have worked in the last twelve years.
Are you married?
If so, is your spouse employed outside the home? If so, what kind of work does
your spouse do and who is her employer?
Do you have children?
If so, tell us their ages.
If they are employed, tell us who they work for and what kind of work they do.
What is your educational background?
Have you ever served on a jury before? If so:
What type of case?
Were you the foreperson?
Have you ever served on a jury that deadlocked and could not reach a verdict?
Have you ever served on a grand jury before?
Did you ever serve in the military? If so, state the branch and years of service.
Have you ever been a party to a lawsuit other than a suit for divorce or child custody?
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