Written correspondence from
counsel to the court.
Judge Conaboy accepts correspondence (copies should be sent to all counsel).
Preference for the
use of telephone conferences rather than in-person conferences for any
category of conferences scheduled in connection with a case.
Judge Conaboy encourages telephone conferences when they will be sufficient.
Courtesy copies of
motions, briefs, and other writings for chambers.
Judge Conaboy adheres to the electronic
filing requirement pursuant to
Standing Order 05-6
Electronic Case Filing Policies and Procedures, as amended 11/18/09. All
documents should be filed according to these requirements. Counsel should
not forward any courtesy copies to the court, unless otherwise directed to
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 Conaboy 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
Judge Conaboy 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 Conaboy 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 Conaboy 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 Conaboy may make himself available for
confidentiality agreements, particularly in light of the Third Circuit's
recent opinions on the prerequisites for imposing confidentiality
Judge Conaboy adheres strictly to the Third Circuit's opinions regarding
confidentiality agreements. In addition, Judge Conaboy seals most settlement
agreements, unless otherwise agreed by counsel.
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 Conaboy 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 Conaboy 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.
submitted by counsel.
Judge Conaboy requires all counsel to submit trial briefs outlining all
issues and the posture of the case at least five days prior to commencement
participation in voir dire.
In civil cases that Judge Conaboy considers simple, he permits counsel to
conduct voir dire. In more complex civil cases, he conducts voir dire. In
criminal cases, Judge Conaboy's standard practice is to conduct voir dire
Whether more than
one attorney may handle trial for a party.
Judge Conaboy permits more than one attorney to participate in trial, and in
cases where more than one attorney will participate, he allows attorneys to
alternate in the questioning of witnesses.
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 Conaboy 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.
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 Conaboy requires counsel to submit proposed jury instructions to him
in writing at least three days prior to the commencement of trial. He does
not diverge from the number of proposed instructions permitted by the Middle
District local rule unless it is shown to be necessary.
forms (in the form of interrogatory questions) to the jury.
Written verdict forms (in the form of interrogatory questions) to the jury.
Judge Conaboy 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 Conaboy encourages settlement and, in appropriate circumstances, makes
himself available to counsel for telephone and in-person conferences during
settlement negotiations. Judge Conaboy occasionally refers matters to a
magistrate judge for pre-trial phases.