United States Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of PennsylvaniaBiographical Information Chambers e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org For additional information, please call Chambers at: (570) 207-5740
Judicial Assistant: (570) 207-5740
Chambers: (570) 207-5740Fax: (570) 207-5749
Written correspondence from counsel to the court.
Judge Mehalchick accepts written correspondence only with regard to procedural information or settlement efforts. Any application for an order, including an application for an extension of time, must be made by motion.
Preferences for the use of telephone conferences rather than in person conferences for any category of conferences scheduled in connection with a case.
Judge Mehalchick conducts case management conferences and status conferences by telephone. She conducts settlement conferences and pre-trial conferences in person.
Any inquiries concerning cases should be directed to Judge Mehalchick's Courtroom Deputy at (570) 831-2571. Judge Mehalchick prefers that counsel not speak with or email her law clerks.
Courtesy copies of motions, briefs, and other writings for chambers.
Judge Mehalchick does not want courtesy copies of any CM/ECF filings unless specifically requested.
Preference regarding pro hac vice admissions
Judge Mehalchick requires use of the special admission form available from the Clerk of Court or under the Forms tab of the court's website.
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 Mehalchick expects counsel to make all reasonable efforts to resolve discovery disputes without court involvement. Counsel is instructed at the case management conference to initiate a conference with Judge Mehalchick before any discovery motion is filed. Judge Mehalchick will attempt to resolve the dispute without the necessity of a motion. The request for a conference should be made to the Judge’s Courtroom Deputy. Prior to the conference, counsel for both parties should submit a letter through CM/ECF containing a brief description of the nature of the dispute without any discussion of the merits of the positions of the parties.
The extent to which counsel may influence the length of the discovery period, extensions, trial dates, etc.
Judge Mehalchick gives great weight to counsel in these matters as long as they are acting reasonable and in good faith.
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 Mehalchick adheres to the six-month discovery period for standard cases set forth in the Local Rule 26.4, unless extraordinary circumstances arise and a timely motion is brought.
Handling of confidentiality agreement, particularly in light of the Third Circuit’s recent opinions on the prerequisites for imposing confidentiality agreements.
Judge Mehalchick does not encourage the use of confidentiality agreements unless the matter involves unusually sensitive material.
Preferences regarding requests for additional pages in excess of the page limitations set forth in Middle District Local Rule 7.8.
Judge Mehalchick requires all such requests be made by a written motion.
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 Mehalchick schedules trials for a date certain as early as possible, normally at the initial Case Management Conference. Trial dates are only changed in the 30 day period before trial in extraordinary circumstances.
Trial briefs submitted by counsel.
Judge Mehalchick requires submission of trial briefs as required by Local Rule 39.7, and prefers they be filed prior to the final Pretrial Conference.
Counsel Participation in voir dire.
Judge Mehalchick generally allows counsel to conduct voir dire in civil cases. In criminal cases, she conducts initial voir dire and allows counsel to supplement.
Whether more than one attorney may handle trial for a party.
Judge Mehalchick allows more than one attorney to handle a case for a party, but expects only one attorney for each witness, and for opening and closing statements.
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 Mehalchick requires pre-marking and exchange of exhibits at the pre-trial conference of the attorneys pursuant to Local Rule 16.3. Each page of each documentary exhibit should be separately marked.
Practice for 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 Mehalchick encourages submission of proposed jury instructions as early as possible, but no later than as set forth in Local Rule 51.1. The limit of 12 proposed jury instructions set by Local Rule 51.1 should be followed unless raised well in advance of trial.
Written verdict forms (in the form of interrogatory questions) to the jury.
Judge Mehalchick encourages an agreed upon special verdict slip, jointly prepared by counsel.
General approach to settlement in jury and non-jury cases, and use of magistrate judges.
Judge Mehalchick pursues settlement thoroughly in jury cases, but refers all non-jury settlement discussion to another judge.