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Judge Miller's FAQs
What happens at a final pretrial conference?
The final pretrial conference generally occurs about two weeks before trial. The purpose of the conference is to resolve any last minute issues, answer any questions the parties have about trial procedures, and, if time allows, rule on any pending motions.
What should be in the pretrial order?
Please refer to Fed. R.Civ. P. 16(d) and (f), and Appendix A to the Northern District of Indiana Local Rules for a Sample Proposed Pre Trial Order.
Can I get a demonstration of the technology available in the courtroom
Yes, please contact the courtroom deputy at (574) 246-8082 to set up an appointment.
What time does court start during a trial?
Court starts at 9:30 a.m. during a trial. Attorneys, however, should plan on arriving by 9:00 a.m. Court generally ends by 5:00 p.m., but the time may vary depending on the circumstances of the trial. There is generally a short morning break, a lunch break, and a short afternoon break at some point during each day of the trial.
Does Judge Miller require the parties to engage in mediation?
Parties are strongly urged to engage in mediation prior to the final pretrial conference. It is extremely rare for Judge Miller to order litigants to participate in a settlement conference.
What happens if I need an extension of time to serve my response or reply brief to a fully-briefed motion for summary judgment?
It is the parties' responsibility to work out the internal deadlines in a fully-briefed motion for summary judgment. The briefing schedule outlined in L.R. 56.1 may be modified by agreement of the parties, so long as the fully-briefed packet is filed by the dispositive motion deadline. The court may modify the dispositive motion deadline date, but it will not modify the response or reply date for a fully-briefed motion for summary judgment.
What is the difference between a regular motion for summary judgment and a fully-briefed motion for summary judgment (summary judgment packet)?
In a regular motion for summary judgment, the moving party files its motion and supporting documents with the court by the dispositive motion deadline specified in the scheduling order. The opposing party then has 28 days to file a response, and the moving party has 14 days to file a reply. In a fully-briefed motion for summary judgment, the moving party will serve the motion and supporting documents on the opposing party, but will not file the motion with the court at that time. The opposing party has 28 days to serve a response on the moving party. The moving party then has 14 days to draft a reply and file the entire packet with the court. The entire packet (consisting of the motion, response, and reply) must be filed by the dispositive motion deadline specified in the scheduling order.
Does Judge Miller have a set of standing orders?
Does Judge Miller have a motion call day?
No, there is no specific motion call day. Judge Miller ordinarily hears oral argument on dispositive motions. A party that wants oral argument on any other type of motion should request it via a motion.
Can counsel attend proceedings before Judge Miller telephonically?
Generally not in cases that were filed in the South Bend Division. Judge Miller considers in-person conferences to be preferable, and assumes that attorneys who appear in cases filed in South Bend expect to travel to South Bend. On the other hand, in cases that were filed in the Fort Wayne or Hammond Division, Judge Miller generally handles everything but hearings on dispositive motions by telephone.