Protocol and Practice of Persons Appearing in the Court of Judge Dawn Bergin


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Pre-Trial Practice and Management Issues

Motion Practice GENERAL PROTOCOL  
 
Oral argument: I will have reviewed all filings prior to the argument and will outline my preliminary analysis and inclinations at the outset of the hearing. I will not necessarily start with the movant. The argument will be free-flowing and without structured time limits. I am interactive during argument and generally ask multiple questions. I allow counsel to sit or stand during argument.  
 
Forms of Order: Please submit all forms of order in WORD format.  
 
Exhibits: For depositions or voluminous documents (such as a contract), include only those pages cited unless additional pages are needed for context only.  
 
Citations: Include all case citations in the body of the brief and not in footnotes.  
 
Supplemental Briefing: Sur-responses, sur-replies and supplemental briefing will not be permitted without leave of court.  
 
Page length extensions: Briefs exceeding the page limit will not be accepted without leave of court. Prior to moving for an extension of the page limit, I expect counsel to aggressively edit their briefs in an effort to meet the page limit. I will consider motions to extend the page limit, however, when an adequate explanation is provided. A stipulation between the parties to exceed the page limit is not sufficient.  
 
Omnibus Motions: Do not include more than one motion in a single filing or combine a response and a motion or a reply and a motion in one filing (with the exception of true cross-motions). This includes requests for fees. Any requests for fees must be made by separate motion.  
 
Filings made shortly before a hearing: It can take more than 24 hours for a document that is efiled to make it to my Judicial Assistant's efile inbox. If you file a document less than 3 days before a hearing that you want me to address at that hearing, please email it to my Judicial Assistant.
Other Pre-trial Practice Guidelines or Comments Scheduling orders and extensions: I am generally liberal in granting extensions of pretrial deadlines. However, I require the parties to provide an explanation for such requests and will reject stipulations lacking an explanation. If I am concerned about the number of extensions or the length of any requested extension, I will set a status conference.  
 
Accessibility: I try to make myself as accessible to the parties as possible. Attorneys may contact my judicial assistant if a problem arises that I would likely be able to address through a brief status conference.  

Trial Practice and Protocol

Trial Schedule  
Time Limits: If I impose a specific time limit for each party's trial presentation, the parties are responsible for tracking time and will need to confer prior to trial the following day to reach an agreement on the remaining time for each party.  
Courtroom Etiquette Attorneys are free to move around the well and are not confined to the podium.  
 
Attorneys should stand when making objections.