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O'Toole, George A. Jr.

Born 1947 in Worcester, MA

Federal Judicial Service
Judge, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

Nominated by William J. Clinton on April 4, 1995, to a new seat created by 104 Stat. 5089; Confirmed by the Senate on May 25, 1995, and received commission on May 26, 1995.

Education
Boston College, A.B., 1969
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1972

Staff
Chambers
Judicial Assistant Dianne Croke
Clerk's Office
Courtroom Clerk
Paul Lyness 617-748-9181 paul_lyness@mad.uscourts.gov
Docket Clerk Taylor Halley 617-748-9182 taylor_halley@mad.uscourts.gov
Court Reporter Marcia Patrisso 617-737-8728  

Courtroom Number
9, 3rd Floor

Courtroom Technology
Contact the courtroom clerk regarding use of this equipment.

The courtroom is equipped with a fully integrated evidence presentation system with 15" viewing monitors for each attorney table, the witness, the Judge and their staff, and a 40" plasma for the gallery. The jury box also has 15" monitors built into the front and back rows of the jury box, one for every two jurors. Evidence being displayed from any source can be annotated from the witness and lectern monitors. Two attorney tables have the ability to connect both audio and video from a computer through a standard VGA port [laptop/desktop and even Mac/Apple if you have the VGA adapter]. In addition, there are two computer audio and video inputs located at the lectern location. Also at the lectern, is a document camera for displaying physical evidence that is not electronic and a VCR. 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. Click here for more information.

Chambers Procedures/Standing Orders/Sample Orders
N/A

 

USDC Judicial Forum Survey


Match word(s).

    Civil - Case Management

  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A1: See Question 2.
  • GAO Q2: If you have a specific scheduling order, please attach your order.
  • GAO A2: Scheduling Order
  • GAO 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)?
  • GAO A3: No.
  • GAO Q4: What, if any, inquiries do you make about settlement prospects and/or interest in mediation at the initial scheduling conference?
  • GAO A4: I usually make a general inquiry.
  • GAO Q5: What, if any inquiries do you make about the liklihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference?
  • GAO A5: I generally do not.
  • GAO Q6: What schedule do you set at the initial scheduling conference?
  • GAO A6: Normally I set only the schedule for fact discovery at the initial scheduling conference.
  • GAO Q7: After the initial scheduling conference, do you hold status conferences?
  • GAO A7: Yes, we schedule a future status conference at the initial scheduling conference.
  • GAO Q8: If so, when do you hold status conferences?
  • GAO A8: Before the end of fact discovery.
  • GAO Q9: If so, what issues do you address at status conferences?
  • GAO A9: It depends. We may discuss discovery, whether the case schedule remains as originally set, the possibility of mediation (especially through the court-annexed ADR program), and any pending issues or problems.
  • Civil - Discovery

  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A10: None.
  • GAO Q11: What, if any, issues related to electronically stored information should counsel be prepared to address at the initial scheduling conference?
  • GAO A11: It depends. Where e-discovery is an issue, parties generally negotiate a mutually agreeable protocol.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A12: No. The only requirement I insist on is that the agreement provide that any amendments to the order once entered must be approved by the court.
  • GAO Q13: Under what circumstances would you consider a bifurcation of discovery ?
  • GAO A13: Bifurcation is not the norm, but it may be appropriate in particular cases. It would depend on the precise circumstances of the case.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A14: This would be addressed in a general assessment of the discovery needs of the case.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A15:This would be addressed in a general assessment of the discovery needs of the case.
  • GAO Q16: Typically, do you resolve discovery motions or do you refer them to the magistrate judge?
  • GAO A16: Respondent skipped this question.
  • GAO Q17: Do you typically hold a hearing on discovery?
  • GAO A17: No. Not typically. It depends on the issue.
  • GAO Q18: Please describe your general practice regarding the resolution of discovery motions.
  • GAO A18: Respondent skipped this question.
  • GAO Q19: Under what circumstances will you consider emergency motions regarding discovery matters?
  • GAO A19: In an emergency.
  • GAO Q20: Do you have any particular practices or requirements about expert disclosures?
  • GAO A20: Generally not. I tend to strictly enforce the time periods set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26, Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16, and Local Rule 116.1.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A21: See answer to Question 6 above. I do not have a “typical” approach to scheduling Daubert hearings.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A22: I may waive the consultation obligation imposed by Local Rule 7.1.
  • Civil - Dispositive Motions

  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A23: See next answer.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A24: For motions supported by lengthy memoranda and/or supporting affidavits, etc., I will often ask the parties to submit courtesy paper copies of the materials filed.
  • GAO Q25: Do you typically allow reply briefs and/or surreply briefs?
  • GAO A25: Yes.
  • GAO Q26: If you allow reply and/or surreply briefs, do you impose a page limit?
  • GAO A26: No. While I do not usually impose a page limit, I do expect the replies and surreplies to be succinct and targeted.
  • GAO Q27: Do you typically hold a hearing on motions to dismiss?
  • GAO A27: Most of the time, but there can be exceptions.
  • GAO Q28: Do you typically hold a hearing on summary judgment motions?
  • GAO A28: Most of the time, but there can be exceptions.
  • GAO Q29: If you typically hold hearings on dispositive motions, what, if any, time limits do you impose on counsel for their arguments?
  • GAO A29: I generally do not impose time limits on oral argument on motions.
  • GAO Q30: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you allow the filing of post-argument briefs?
  • GAO A30: It depends. One circumstance could be that a new issue arose in the course of oral argument that was not adequately addressed in the prior briefing.
  • Civil - Patent Cases

  • GAO Q31: Do you have any standing order and/or any particular practice regarding the management of patent cases? If so, please describe them.
  • GAO A31: I generally follow the template in Appendix E of the Local Rules.
  • GAO Q32: If applicable, please upload your standing order regarding the management of patent cases.
  • GAO A32: Respondent skipped this question.
  • GAO Q33: Do you have particular practice about Markman hearings? If so, please describe them including but not limited to whether you allow tutorial(s).
  • GAO A33: No.
  • Criminal Matters

  • GAO Q34: Do you handle matters regarding discovery in criminal cases?
  • GAO A34: No.
  • GAO Q35: Do you have any particular practices as to scheduling in criminal cases? If so, please describe them.
  • GAO A35: No.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A36: In the first instance I would refer such a motion to the magistrate judge, who is already familiar with detention/release issues in the case.
  • GAO Q37: Do you typically hold a hearing on motions for review of a detention order?
  • GAO A37: Yes.
  • GAO Q38: Do you have any particular practices regarding the filing of suppression motions or hearings on suppression motions?
  • GAO A38: The magistrate judge will set a deadline for the filing of such motions. Scheduling hearings is handled on a case-bycase basis.
  • General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

  • GAO Q39: Do you require the filing of a trial brief?
  • GAO A39: No. But I welcome them.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A40: Trial briefs are useful if there are unusual or complex issues.
  • GAO 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)?
  • GAO A41: Yes.
  • GAO Q42: Do you typically hold an initial pretrial conference in civil cases?
  • GAO A42: Yes.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A43: Typically, the final pretrial conference in civil and criminal cases is held ten days prior to trial. At that conference, deadlines for filing voir dire, witness and exhibit lists, motions in limine, and trial briefs will be established. In civil cases, that will usually be about four or five days before trial. In criminal cases, I require the government to disclose witness and exhibit lists on the Monday before the commencement of trial and the defendant to do so on the Thursday before trial. I typically ask for proposed jury instructions to be filed by the first day of trial.
  • GAO 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.)?
  • GAO A44: No.
  • GAO Q45: Do you set a page limit for motions in limine? If so, what is it?
  • GAO A45: No.
  • GAO Q46: Do you typically hear motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
  • GAO A46: Not usually, but it can happen.
  • GAO Q47: Do you typically resolve motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
  • GAO A47: It depends. If a motion in limine can be adequately addressed at the final pretrial conference, I will often resolve it then.
  • GAO Q48: Do you typically hear and/or resolve Daubert motions at the final pretrial conference?
  • GAO A48: There would be no typical practice.
  • GAO Q49: Do you require the parties to provide a courtesy copy of trial exhibits to the Court before trial?
  • GAO A49: Yes.
  • GAO Q50: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, when do you require them?
  • GAO A50: At the beginning of trial.
  • GAO Q51: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, what particular form is required?
  • GAO A51: Usually printed and organized by tabs in a three-ring binder with supplements throughout trial if appropriate. In addition, the parties must work together and with the courtroom deputy to upload digital files containing all premarked trial exhibits to the Jury Evidence Recording System (JERS).
  • GAO Q52: Do you require trial exhibits to be pre-marked? If so, please describe your practice?
  • GAO A52: Yes. They need to be pre-marked for uploading to JERS.
  • Criminal - Scheduling Trials

  • GAO Q53: Typically, when do you set a trial date in criminal cases?
  • GAO A53: There is no typical time.
  • GAO Q54: Typically, when do you set a trial date in civil cases?
  • GAO A54: Usually at a status conference held after discovery has been substantially completed.
  • GAO Q55: What is your typical trial schedule?
  • GAO A55: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • GAO 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?
  • GAO A56: Sometimes.
  • Criminal - Jury Selection

  • GAO Q57: Please describe your jury selection process.
  • GAO A57: I conduct a general voir dire of the venire panel, asking for yes or no answers to questions bearing on the jurors’ ability to be fair and impartial. That is followed by a side-bar follow-up with individual jurors. I conduct all the voir dire questioning in both settings, although I may permit some follow-up questioning by counsel at side-bar after my questioning is concluded. I entertain cause objections to individual jurors as part of this process. When there are enough cause-free jurors, counsel will exercise peremptory challenges. This is also done at side- bar. The government in a criminal case, and the plaintiff in a civil case, will exercise as many peremptory challenges to the jurors in the box as desired, and the defendant in each case will then do the same. Those jurors are excused and replaced with new jurors chosen from the venire panel. Only the newly seated jurors may be the object of further peremptory challenges. In this second round of peremptories, the defense will exercise challenges first, followed then by the government/plaintiff. Selection continues in this manner, alternating which side exercises first in any given round, until the allocated preemptory challenges have been exhausted or the parties declare themselves satisfied.
  • GAO Q58: Under what circumstances, if any, have you or would you consider using a juror questionnaire?
  • GAO A58: It is usually unnecessary.
  • GAO Q59: If you would consider the use of a jury questionnaire, when and in what form should it be proposed?
  • GAO A59: It would be specifically designed for the case at hand. No general answer is possible.
  • GAO Q60: Have you or would you consider allowing attorney voir dire?
  • GAO A60: No.
  • GAO Q61: In civil trials, typically what number of jurors do you seat?
  • GAO A61: 12.
  • GAO Q62: In criminal trials, typically how many alternate jurors do you seat?
  • GAO A62: 2.
  • General Trial Practice - Trial Practices

  • GAO Q63: Do you require counsel to use the podium during openings, examination of witnesses and/or closings?
  • GAO A63: Yes.
  • GAO Q64: How many rounds of examination do you typically allow?
  • GAO A64: Direct, cross, and, if necessary, redirect and recross. Two rounds are enough.
  • GAO Q65: Under what, if any, circumstances, will you allow a rebuttal case?
  • GAO A65: No general answer is possible to this question. It would require a judgment based on what had happened in the trial.
  • GAO Q66: Do you have any preferences about the use of chalks during openings and closings?
  • GAO A66: Chalks (broadly defined) may generally be used. Counsel intending to do so must expose the materials to the opponent in advance, so that any dispute or objection can be timely resolved.
  • GAO Q67: Do you have any particular practice in regard to jury charge conferences? If so, please describe it.
  • GAO A67: No.
  • GAO Q68: Do you provide a written copy of your jury charge to the jury?
  • GAO A68: Sometimes.
  • GAO Q69: Will you consider counsel's proposals of a special verdict form? If so, should it be in any particular format?
  • GAO A69: Yes; no.
  • GAO 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.
  • GAO A70: None.
  • GAO Q71: If you have any particular practices as to bench trials, please describe them.
  • GAO A71: I usually require post-trial proposed findings of fact with citations to the record and rulings of law.
  • Criminal - Sentencing/Revocation Hearings

  • GAO Q72: Do you require a sentencing memorandum in every case?
  • GAO A72: No. However, I regard sentencing memoranda as useful.
  • GAO Q73: If you do not require a sentencing memorandum in every case, when would it be helpful to you?
  • GAO A73: It is helpful to understand the parties’ positions and arguments before the sentencing hearing. It permits greater opportunity to reflect on the issues presented in the particular case.
  • GAO Q74: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you consider an expedited sentencing?
  • GAO A74: No general answer can be given.
  • GAO Q75: Do you have any particular practices regarding the presentation of victim impact statements at sentencing?
  • GAO A75: The government is responsible for advising the court that victim statements will be offered. Advance notice should be given. Statements may be done in writing or orally. If orally, the victim will make his or her presentation from the podium.
  • GAO Q76: Under what, if any circumstances, would you consider the postponement of a sentencing hearing?
  • GAO A76: No general answer can be given.
  • GAO Q77: Do you have any particular practices as to revocation matters?
  • GAO A77: No.
  • Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters

  • GAO Q78: If your session has any standing orders, please attach them here.
  • GAO A78: Respondent skipped this question.
  • GAO Q79: Order #2
  • GAO A79: Respondent skipped this question.
  • GAO Q80: Order #3
  • GAO A80: Respondent skipped this question.
  • GAO 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.
  • GAO A81: Respondent skipped this question.

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