(Return to Magistrate Judge Smyser's Biography)
Written correspondence from
counsel to the court.
Judge Smyser accepts letters when used to communicate procedural information and information about settlement efforts. Any application for an order must be made by motion. Any application for an extension of time must be by motion.
Preference for the use of
telephone conferences rather than in-person conferences for any category of
conferences scheduled in connection with a case.
Preference regarding pro hac
Courtesy copies of motions,
briefs, and other writings for chambers.
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.
The extent to which counsel
may influence the length of the discovery period, extensions, trial dates,
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.
Handling of confidentiality
agreements, particularly in light of the Third Circuitís recent opinions
on the prerequisites for imposing confidentiality agreements.
requests for additional pages in excess of the page limitations set forth in
Middle District Local Rule 7.8.
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
Trial briefs submitted by
Counsel participation in voir
Whether more than one
attorney may 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.
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.
Written verdict forms (in the
form of interrogatory questions) to the jury.
General approach to
settlement and non-jury cases and use of magistrate judges.
PLEASE NOTE: These Preferences are courtesy of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Middle District Manual (4th ed., April 2001). More complete Preferences for each Middle District Judicial Officer are contained in the Middle District Manual. For more information on purchasing the Manual, visit the PBI's home page.