United States Judge for the Middle District of PennsylvaniaBiographical Information
For additional information, contact Judicial Assistant/Chambers (717) 221-3960.
Fax: (717) 221-3968
P.O. Box 868
Harrisburg, PA 17108-0868
Courtroom Deputy: (717) 221-3927
United States Federal Building and Courthouse
228 Walnut Street, Room 860
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Written correspondence from counsel to the court.
Judge Rambo prefers no written correspondence unless directed by the court or to report a settlement.
Preference for the use of telephone conferences rather than in-person conferences for any category of conferences scheduled in connection with a case.
Judge Rambo prefers the use of telephone conferences rather than in-person conferences for all conferences except pretrial conferences and settlement conferences, which are in person. In the case of a discovery dispute, counsel shall call chambers and request a conference call be scheduled between the parties and the court to resolve the issue(s).
Courtesy copies of motions, briefs, and other writings for chambers.
Any documents filed via the Electronic Case Filing System (ECF) that are not under seal are automatically served upon chambers and a paper copy need not be submitted. The exception to this is that any document that exceeding 99 pages shall be submitted on paper to chambers (bound or fastened with exhibits tabbed). Counsel shall send directly to chambers any in-camera submissions. In sealed criminal cases, two paper copies of any document shall be submitted to the Clerk of Court to be sent to chambers.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 and M.D. Pa. Local Rule 26.1.
Judge Rambo prefers that discovery commence before the Rule 16 conference. Judge Rambo directs that counsel not file discovery motions unless conflicts cannot be resolved by telephone conference.
The extent to which counsel may influence the length of discovery in a standard track case and the extent to which the standard amount of time is varied.
Judge Rambo typically allows six to eight months from the filing of the complaint for discovery.
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 Rambo determines dates for trials at the pretrial conference unless trial will involve a large number of counsel, witnesses, experts and is to be over a week in length. In such cases, Judge Rambo will make prior arrangements by request. Once set, Judge Rambo does not change trial dates.
Trial briefs submitted by counsel.
Judge Rambo prefers to receive trial briefs at least two business days prior to the commencement of trial.
Counsel participation in voir dire.
In criminal cases, Judge Rambo conducts the voir dire but allows written submissions of proposed questions. In civil cases, Judge Rambo allows counsel to conduct voir dire based on questions submitted to and approved by her. Counsel submit proposed voir dire questions as part of their pretrial memoranda.
Whether more than one attorney may handle trial for a party.
Judge Rambo permits more than one attorney to handle trial for a party.
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.
Judge Rambo requires pre-marking of exhibits at the meeting of counsel preceding the pretrial conference, as required by the rules. If electronic display of exhibits is desired for trial, contact the courtroom deputy for instructions.
Practice for the receipt of proposed jury instructions, including the form of jury instructions, and any divergence from the number of jury instructions permitted by the Middle District local rules.
Judge Rambo requires submission of proposed jury instructions as part of the pretrial memoranda. Judge Rambo does not require submission of standard instructions such as burden of proof, credibility, etc. She prefers points on the substantive law. Judge Rambo will not permit a party to file more proposed instructions than the local rules permit, except with leave of court in a complex case.
Written verdict forms (in the form of interrogatory questions) to the jury.
Judge Rambo routinely submits verdict forms. She will accept counsels' proposed verdict forms but will usually alter them.
General approach to settlement and non-jury cases and use of magistrate judges.
In non-jury cases, Judge Rambo refers settlement discussions to the magistrate judge. She tries to encourage mediation. In jury cases, either Judge Rambo or the magistrate judge will conduct settlement.