United States Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Biographical Information
For additional information, contact chambers at (570) 207-5750.
Judicial Assistant: (570) 207-5750
Chambers: (570) 207-5750
Written correspondence from counsel to the court.
Judge Mariani accepts correspondence submitted via CM/ECF with copies to be sent to all other counsel. Correspondence, however, should not be used for communications to the court which request that the court take action on a pending matter. In such case, the matter should be presented to the court in the form of a motion with a proposed order.
Preference for the use of telephone conferences rather than in-person conferences for any category of conferences scheduled in connection with a case.
Telephone conferences will generally be acceptable for case management conferences, status conferences, scheduling and discovery conferences. All other matters which come before Judge Mariani will normally be addressed through in-person presentations. Generally, the court will require that all counsel participate in any conference with the court by the same means, i.e., all counsel participate by telephone or all counsel be present in person. Exception may be made where one or more counsel must travel a substantial distance for a conference anticipated to be of short duration.
Trial briefs submitted by counsel.
Judge Mariani adheres to the electronic filing requirement pursuant to Standing Order 05-6 Electronic Case Filing Policies and Procedures, as amended. All documents should be filed according to these requirements. Counsel should not forward any courtesy copies to the court, unless otherwise directed to do so.
Federal Rule 26 and M.D. Pa. Local Rule 26.1, et seq. (including your approach to initial disclosures, discovery prior to the Rule 16 conference) and preferences as to the matters encompassed within those Rules.
Judge Mariani adheres to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the local rules governing discovery.
The extent to which counsel may influence the length of the discovery period, extensions, trial dates, etc.
Judge Mariani gives counsel a case management form, which is to be returned to him promptly. That form establishes an estimated discovery time period, and addresses extensions of time for litigation matters. Upon receipt of the form, Judge Mariani issues a scheduling order for the case to proceed in a timely and orderly manner.
The average amount of time allowed for discovery in a standard track case and the extent to which the standard amount of time is varied.
Judge Mariani adheres to M.D. Local Rule 26.4, which permits a six-month time limit on a standard track case. If there are any unforeseen or unresolved discovery issues, Judge Mariani may make himself available for resolution purposes.
Handling of confidentiality agreements, particularly in light of the Third Circuit’s recent opinions on the prerequisites for imposing confidentiality agreements.
Judge Mariani adheres strictly to the Third Circuit’s opinions regarding confidentiality agreements. In addition, Judge Mariani seals most settlement agreements, unless otherwise agreed to by counsel.
For questions of procedure, contact Chambers at (570) 207-5750.
Procedure for scheduling trials, including whether a date certain for trial is assigned; if so, the amount of time prior to trial that such a date certain is assigned; and the extent to which it may be moved during the month in which it has been scheduled.
Judge Mariani schedules trials in accordance with discussions held with counsel at the case management conference, where he and counsel agree to a scheduling order. Except in more complex cases, Judge Mariani attempts to schedule a trial date within one year of the filing of the action but the trial date may be earlier, if all parties are amenable.
Trial briefs submitted by counsel.
Judge Mariani requires that all counsel submit trial briefs at the time of the pre-trial conference outlining all legal issues that may be reasonably anticipated to arise.
Counsel participation in voir dire.
Voir dire is generally conducted by counsel in civil cases and by Judge Mariani in criminal cases. These procedures may be modified by the court on a case by case basis.
Whether more than one attorney may handle trial for a party.
Judge Mariani will allow more than one attorney to participate, but only one attorney may examine a witness.
Pre-marking of documentary and photographic exhibits and other demonstrative evidence for trial and the date upon which exchange of exhibits is to take place, if any.
In accordance with the local rules, Judge Mariani requires counsel to pre-mark all exhibits, including any type of demonstrative or photographic evidence, to be introduced at trial. He directs that exhibits be discussed and exchanged prior to the final pre-trial conference, and if counsel disagree as to the exchange, the court will discuss the disagreement at the final pre-trial conference. A party offering more than 20 written exhibits must provide the court with two copies of those exhibits in loose-leaf binders. In addition, where a party is offering more than 20 written exhibits, that party must provide the court with one copy in electronic format for use in connection with the Jury Evidence Recording System.
Practice for the receipt of proposed jury instructions, including the form of jury instruction, and any divergence from the number of jury instructions permitted by the Middle District local rules.
Judge Mariani follows the Middle District local rules with respect to proposed jury instructions. In addition, proposed jury instructions should be submitted in digital non-PDF format.
Written verdict forms (in the form of interrogatory questions) to the jury.
Judge Mariani uses written verdict forms for the jury and encourages counsel to submit proposed verdict forms prior to the conclusion of trial. He reserves the right to formulate and use his own independent forms.
General approach to settlement and non-jury cases and use of magistrate judges.
Judge Mariani pursues settlement thoroughly but refers all settlement discussions in non-jury cases to a magistrate judge or mediator.