Born 1938 in Evanston, IL
U. S. District Judge, District of Massachusetts
Nominated by George H.W. Bush on April 28, 1992, to a new seat created by 104 Stat.
5089; Confirmed by the Senate on September 23, 1992, and received commission on
September 24, 1992.
Dartmouth College, A.B., 1960
Columbia Law School, LL.B., 1966
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The courtroom is equipped with two 50" plasma display carts. One is for the jury, and the
other near the witness box in the well for viewing by the rest of the courtroom. There is a
DVD/VCR player connected to one of the plasma carts for video playback. In addition,
there is a document camera in each courtroom that can connect to the same monitor for
displaying physical evidence. If the evidence is electronic, the computer can either be
chained into the system through the document camera or connected directly by removing
the document camera. Portable video conferencing equipment can be brought in upon
request for remote appearances.
Internet access is available upon request and with the consent of the presiding Judge.
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Notice Regarding Judge Gorton’s Standing Order On Interim CJA 20 Vouchers In Excess Compensation Cases
- NMG Q1: Do you have any specific scheduling order or any particular topics that counsel must address in the joint statement in addition to/or in lieu of the topics required to be addressed under Local Rule 16.1(D) for the initial scheduling conference?
- NMG A1: Yes.
- NMG Q2: If you have a specific scheduling order, please attach your order.
- NMG A2: Scheduling Order
- NMG Q3: Do you have any additional requirement(s) as to the attorneys' obligation that they confer with their client(s) about case budget and ADR pursuant to Local Rule 16.1(D)(3)?
- NMG A3: Yes, If Yes, please describe your requirement. I like to see copies of the litigant's signatures on Rule 16.1 certificates rather than electronic signatures; original signatures are not necessary for filing.
- NMG Q4: What, if any, inquiries do you make about settlement prospects and/or interest in mediation at the initial scheduling conference?
- NMG A4: I always try to schedule mediation after fact discovery but do not require it
- NMG Q5: What, if any inquiries do you make about the liklihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference?
- NMG A5: None
- NMG Q6: What schedule do you set at the initial scheduling conference?
- NMG A6: For the entire case including the dates for final pretrial conference and trial
- NMG Q7: After the initial scheduling conference, do you hold status conferences?
- NMG A7: Other (please specify) Not usually
- NMG Q8: If so, when do you hold status conferences?
- NMG A8: I don't but I encourage mediation after fact discovery
- NMG Q9: If so, what issues do you address at status conferences?
- NMG A9: n/a
- NMG Q10: Other than the requirements under Local Rule 16.1(D) for addressing certain discovery topics in the parties' joint statement, what, if any, discovery issues do you like counsel to be prepared to address at the initial scheduling conference?
- NMG A10: any such issues that can be dealt with expeditiously
- NMG Q11: What, if any, issues related to electronically stored information should counsel be prepared to address at the initial scheduling conference?
- NMG A11: if there are any E.S.I. issues, they should be dealt with
- NMG Q12: If the parties intend to file a proposed protective order, do you require any particular format and/or a specific time for doing so?
- NMG A12: In any such order counsel should confirm that it is specifically subject to the provisions of Local Rule 7.2
- NMG Q13: Under what circumstances would you consider a bifurcation of discovery ?
- NMG A13: Rarely.
- NMG Q14: Given the new requirement under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1) regarding the proportionality of the scope of discovery, what, if any inquiry do you make about this issue at the initial scheduling conference?
- NMG A14: None, unless it is brought up by counsel
- NMG Q15: Other than the requirement that the parties confer in good faith to narrow the issues before filing any discovery motion under Local Rule 37.1(A), what, if any, additional requirements do you make of counsel before considering discovery motions?
- NMG A15: I advise counsel that most discovery motions are unnecessary and that if I determine that either or both counsel are being obstreperous, I may impose sanctions
- NMG Q16: Typically, do you resolve discovery motions or do you refer them to the magistrate judge?
- NMG A16: I typically refer them to the magistrate judge
- NMG Q17: Do you typically hold a hearing on discovery?
- NMG A17: No.
- NMG Q18: Please describe your general practice regarding the resolution of discovery motions.
- NMG A18: I discourage discovery motions in the first place, usually send them to the magistrate judge and impose sanctions against obstructive counsel
- NMG Q19: Under what circumstances will you consider emergency motions regarding discovery matters?
- NMG A19: Rare circumstances
- NMG Q20: Do you have any particular practices or requirements about expert disclosures?
- NMG A20: They need to comply with F.R.C.P. 26(a)(2)
- NMG Q21: What, if any, expert discovery deadlines do you set at the initial scheduling conference? When do you typically set a schedule for the filing of Daubert motions?
- NMG A21: All; I don't schedule Daubert motions and a large majority of those filed are denied
- NMG Q22: If the case involves a pro se litigant, do you typically have any different practices in regard to scheduling conferences, status conferences or discovery matters?
- NMG A22: Yes, I constantly urge pro ses to retain counsel with the help of lawyers' referral service but remind them, if they don't, they will need to comply with rules of procedure.
- NMG Q23: Other than the presumptive pages limits for memoranda under Rule 7.1(b), do you have any other requirements or preferences about the filing of dispositive motions?
- NMG A23: Usually, no reply briefs without leave of court
- NMG Q24: In connection with dispositive motions, do you require the filing of any courtesy copies of exhibits, depositions and/or other materials in addition to the electronic versions that are filed on ECF?
- NMG A24: No.
- NMG Q25: Do you typically allow reply briefs and/or surreply briefs?
- NMG A25: No. Only with leave of court for good cause shown.
- NMG Q26: If you allow reply and/or surreply briefs, do you impose a page limit?
- NMG A26: Yes. No more than ten (10) pages.
- NMG Q27: Do you typically hold a hearing on motions to dismiss?
- NMG A27: Sometimes in conjunction with the scheduling conference but not usually
- NMG Q28: Do you typically hold a hearing on summary judgment motions?
- NMG A28:
Only when one or more issues are not sufficiently briefed
- NMG Q29: If you typically hold hearings on dispositive motions, what, if any, time limits do you impose on counsel for their arguments?
- NMG A29: 15 minutes per side
- NMG Q30: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you allow the filing of post-argument briefs?
- NMG A30: Rarely
- NMG Q31: Do you have any standing order and/or any particular practice regarding the management of patent cases? If so, please describe them.
- NMG A31: I follow Local Rule 16.6
- NMG Q32: If applicable, please upload your standing order regarding the management of patent cases.
- NMG A32: See appendix E to Local Rules.
- NMG Q33: Do you have particular practice about Markman hearings? If so, please describe them including but not limited to whether you allow tutorial(s).
- NMG A33: I impose time limits on Markman hearings and allow counsel to use this alloted time as they choose
- NMG Q34: Do you handle matters regarding discovery in criminal cases?
- NMG A34: No.
- NMG Q35: Do you have any particular practices as to scheduling in criminal cases? If so, please describe them.
- NMG A35: All pretrial is left to the magistrate judge
- NMG Q36: If a defendant files a motion for release and/or modification of conditions of release after the case has been referred back to the district judge, is it your typical practice to resolve the motion or refer it back to the magistrate judge?
- NMG A36: I refer it to the magistrate judge.
- NMG Q37: Do you typically hold a hearing on motions for review of a detention order?
- NMG A37: No.
- NMG Q38: Do you have any particular practices regarding the filing of suppression motions or hearings on suppression motions?
- NMG A38: I decide them on the papers unless a hearing is warranted.
- NMG Q39: Do you require the filing of a trial brief?
- NMG A39: No.
- NMG Q40: If you do not require the filing of a trial brief, under what circumstances do you think it would be helpful to the Court?
- NMG A40: It is quite often helpful but I don't require it in addition to early requests for instructions to the jury.
- NMG Q41: Do you typically hold an initial pretrial conference in criminal cases? If so, what issues do you want
counsel to be able to address at each conference in addition to those addressed under Local Rule 117.1(a)?
- NMG A41: No.
- NMG Q42: Do you typically hold an initial pretrial conference in civil cases?
- NMG A42: No.
- NMG Q43: When do you set a deadline for the filing of proposed voir dire, proposed jury instructions and/or special verdict form, witness and exhibits lists, motions in limine? Typically, how far in advance of trial are these deadlines?
- NMG A43: at the pretrial conf; in limine motions generally due two or three weeks before trial along with requests for instructions to the jury, voir dire questions, objections to opponent's list of witnesses and exhibits, etc.
- NMG Q44: Do you require that proposed voir dire, verdict forms and/or jury instructions be filed in any particular form (i.e., courtesy electronic copy to your deputy clerk in Word or WordPerfect format, etc.)?
- NMG A44: I want paper copies in chambers.
- NMG Q45: Do you set a page limit for motions in limine? If so, what is it?
- NMG A45: Yes, 10 pages.
- NMG Q46: Do you typically hear motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
- NMG A46: I announce my tentative rulings and give counsel a chance to dissuade me.
- NMG Q47: Do you typically resolve motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
- NMG A47: Yes
- NMG Q48: Do you typically hear and/or resolve Daubert motions at the final pretrial conference?
- NMG A48: Earlier in the case and rarely do I have hearings
- NMG Q49: Do you require the parties to provide a courtesy copy of trial exhibits to the Court before trial?
- NMG A49: No.
- NMG Q50: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, when do you require them?
- NMG A50: n/a
- NMG Q51: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, what particular form is required?
- NMG A51: n/a
- NMG Q52: Do you require trial exhibits to be pre-marked? If so, please describe your practice?
- NMG A52: Yes,
no "government exhibits" or "defendants' exhibits" just exhibits marked sequentially.
- NMG Q53: Typically, when do you set a trial date in criminal cases?
- NMG A53: At the initial pretrial conference
- NMG Q54: Typically, when do you set a trial date in civil cases?
- NMG A54: At the scheduling conference
- NMG Q55: What is your typical trial schedule?
- NMG A55: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
- NMG Q56: In civil cases, do you set time limits for counsel for opening statements, the presentation of evidence and/or closing arguments? If so, please describe your practice?
- NMG A56: Yes; time limits are determined at the final pretrial conference after consultation with counsel and, with respect to closing arguments, at the charge conference
- NMG Q57: Please describe your jury selection process.
- NMG A57: The Court poses voir dire questions as supplemented by counsel, to the sworn panel, and keeps track of affirmative responses of each panelist. The deputy fills the jury box with randomly chosen jurors who are then called to sidebar to explain affirmative responses and to answer any additional related questions posed by counsel. If a juror is excused for cause he/she is replaced until there is a so-called clean slate in the jury box. The Court then inquires orally about the occupation of each potential juror and of his/her spouse. Preemptory challenges are then exercised at sidebar alternately until each side is satisfied understanding that there are no back strikes after each round. The same procedure is followed in successive rounds until a complete jury is chosen.
- NMG Q58: Under what circumstances, if any, have you or would you consider using a juror questionnaire?
- NMG A58: only in high-profile cases
- NMG Q59: If you would consider the use of a jury questionnaire, when and in what form should it be proposed?
- NMG A59: to be determined when and if necessary.
- NMG Q60: Have you or would you consider allowing attorney voir dire?
- NMG A60: Yes, If so, please describe the circumstances under which you have or would allow attorney voir dire. Attorneys participate in the voir dire under the Court's direction.
- NMG Q61: In civil trials, typically what number of jurors do you seat?
- NMG A61: 12.
- NMG Q62: In criminal trials, typically how many alternate jurors do you seat?
- NMG A62: 2.
- NMG Q63: Do you require counsel to use the podium during openings, examination of witnesses and/or closings?
- NMG A63: Yes, a movable podium or none at all so long as counsel does not wander.
- NMG Q64: How many rounds of examination do you typically allow?
- NMG A64: Direct & Cross, Redirect, Recross, on rare occasions: re-direct and re-cross
- NMG Q65: Under what, if any, circumstances, will you allow a rebuttal case?
- NMG A65: if deemed warranted
- NMG Q66: Do you have any preferences about the use of chalks during openings and closings?
- NMG A66: They are allowed, subject to objection of opposing
- NMG Q67: Do you have any particular practice in regard to jury charge conferences? If so, please describe it.
- NMG A67: They are always held after (or near) the end of the testimony and the Court informs counsel whether it will not give the substance of their requested instructions.
- NMG Q68: Do you provide a written copy of your jury charge to the jury?
- NMG A68: Yes.
- NMG Q69: Will you consider counsel's proposals of a special verdict form? If so, should it be in any particular format?
- NMG A69: Yes; no particular format
- NMG Q70: If you have any preferences or practices about pretrial or trial matters that has not been solicited by the prior questions, please describe them here.
- NMG A70: The Court does not permit counsel to wander about the courtroom during openings, closings or the examination of witnesses and allows sidebars only when deemed absolutely necessary
- NMG Q71: If you have any particular practices as to bench trials, please describe them.
- NMG A71: The Court requires counsel to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law before the start of trial; they may be supplemented after the conclusion of trial.
- NMG Q72: Do you require a sentencing memorandum in every case?
- NMG A72: No, but if counsel wants the Court to give his/her recommendation full and complete consideration, it is strongly advised.
- NMG Q73: If you do not require a sentencing memorandum in every case, when would it be helpful to you?
- NMG A73: Almost always
- NMG Q74: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you consider an expedited sentencing?
- NMG A74: When the probation officer agrees that it is appropriate.
- NMG Q75: Do you have any particular practices regarding the presentation of victim impact statements at sentencing?
- NMG A75: They are always welcome
- NMG Q76: Under what, if any circumstances, would you consider the postponement of a sentencing hearing?
- NMG A76: Only for very good cause
- NMG Q77: Do you have any particular practices as to revocation matters?
- NMG A77: I ask counsel specifically about the provision of Fed.R.Crim.P. 32.1(b)(2)
- NMG Q78: If your session has any standing orders, please attach them here.
- NMG A78: Notice and Standing Order
- NMG Q79: Order #2
- NMG A79: Respondent skipped this question
- NMG Q80: Order #3
- NMG A80: Respondent skipped this question
- NMG Q81: If there is any other guidance about your court practices and preferences that you would like to share with counsel that has not been solicited by any of the prior questions, please provide it here.
- NMG A81: I can't think of any.