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Robertson, Katherine A.

Born 1953 in Princeton, New Jersey

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

First appointed to the Court January 6, 2015.

Education
Princeton University, B.A., 1975
Western New England College School of Law, summa cum laude, J.D., 1990

Staff
Clerk’s Office
Courtroom /
Docket Clerk
Melissa Calderon 413-785-6802 melissa_calderon@mad.uscourts.gov

Courtroom Number
Springfield, Hampshire Courtroom

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

Both the District and Magistrate Judge courtrooms are equipped with a fully integrated evidence presentation system with 15" viewing monitors for each attorney table, the witness, the Judge and their staff, and two 40" in wall mounted plasma displays 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, lectern, and Judges monitors. All 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 unit. Each courtroom has built-in video conferencing cameras for remote appearances, but only one conference can be made at the same time. A portable video conference unit can also be brought in.

Chambers Procedures/Standing Orders/Sample Orders

 

USDC Judicial Forum Survey


Match word(s).

    Civil - Case Management

  • KAR 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?
  • KAR A1: No.
  • KAR Q2: If you have a specific scheduling order, please attach your order.
  • KAR A2: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR 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)?
  • KAR A3: No.
  • KAR Q4: What, if any, inquiries do you make about settlement prospects and/or interest in mediation at the initial scheduling conference?
  • KAR A4: I ask about the status of the settlement demand and response thereto, whether the case might be amenable to early resolution, and what the parties need in discovery to evaluate possible resolution. If appropriate, I set a deadline for the parties to report to the court whether the case should be referred to mediation.
  • KAR Q5: What, if any inquiries do you make about the liklihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference?
  • KAR A5: None.
  • KAR Q6: What schedule do you set at the initial scheduling conference?
  • KAR A6: Generally, I schedule through expert disclosures and depositions and the filing of dispositive motions.
  • KAR Q7: After the initial scheduling conference, do you hold status conferences?
  • KAR A7: Yes.
  • KAR Q8: If so, when do you hold status conferences?
  • KAR A8: At the close of non-expert discovery, unless it's clear that the case will really turn on expert opinion.
  • KAR Q9: If so, what issues do you address at status conferences?
  • KAR A9: I address all of these issues, and, depending on what I hear, I set further dates as appropriate, e.g., a hearing date for dispostive motions, or pre-trial conference and trial dates.
  • Civil - Discovery

  • KAR 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?
  • KAR A10: The need for a protective order; possible complications in discovery, any need for possible court intervention to obtain documents from third parties, any issue about which the parties (or a party) thinks the court should be aware.
  • KAR Q11: What, if any, issues related to electronically stored information should counsel be prepared to address at the initial scheduling conference?
  • KAR A11: Generally, I have not heard about ESI problems from counsel at the initial scheduling conference.
  • KAR 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?
  • KAR A12: I don't require a particular format. I may set a deadline if I think the lack of a protective order will otherwise slow down discovery.
  • KAR Q13: Under what circumstances would you consider a bifurcation of discovery ?
  • KAR A13: If a discrete issue might be dispositive, discovery could be limited and focused on the issue, and this discovery could be accomplished comparatively quickly.
  • KAR 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?
  • KAR A14: I sometimes have a discussion about the scope of discovery in the context of a discussion about how long discovery will take.
  • KAR 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?
  • KAR A15: In contentious cases, I have required the filing of a letter and conference (possibly by telephone) before a motion is filed.
  • KAR Q16: Do you typically hold hearing on discovery motions?
  • KAR A16: I consider whether the parties have requested a hearing and whether it appears that a resolution of the issues can be worked out in the course of a hearing. I often hold a hearing.
  • KAR Q17: Please describe your general practice regarding the resolution of disovery motions.
  • KAR A17: I don't know how to answer this.
  • KAR Q18: Under what circumstances will you consider emergency motions regarding discovery matters?
  • KAR A18: Rarely.
  • KAR Q19: Do you have any particular practices or requirements about expert disclosures?
  • KAR A19: No.
  • KAR Q20: 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?
  • KAR A20: I generally set expert disclosure deadlines at the initial scheduling conference. Because I think Daubert motions are the province of the trial judge, and I manage pre-trial scheduling for the presiding district judge, I only set Daubert deadlines when the parties propose this as part of their proposed pre-trial schedule.
  • KAR Q21: 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?
  • KAR A21: To some extent, in that I try to explain the process and the next steps in the litigation without offering legal advice.

    Civil - Dispositive Motions

  • KAR Q22: 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?
  • KAR A22: I do not but I think the most helpful form for a statement of facts is a joint statement in which the agreed facts are set out with record citations, and the remaining facts are set out in a point-counterpoint arrangement with citations to relevant portions of the record.
  • KAR Q23: 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?
  • KAR A23: Generally not, unless the filings are particularly voluminous.
  • KAR Q24: Do you typically allow reply briefs and/or surreply briefs?
  • KAR A24: Yes.
  • KAR Q25: If you allow reply and/or surreply briefs, do you impose a page limit?
  • KAR A25: Yes, 10 pages.
  • KAR Q26: Do you typically hold a hearing on motions to dismiss?
  • KAR A26: Yes.
  • KAR Q27: Do you typically hold a hearing on summary judgment motions?
  • KAR A27: Yes.
  • KAR Q28: If you typically hold hearings on dispositive motions, what, if any, time limits do you impose on counsel for their arguments?
  • KAR A28: None.
  • KAR Q29: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you allow the filing of post-argument briefs?
  • KAR A29: I have not done this, but would allow it if an issue came up at the hearing and a party requested leave to further brief a point. I would set a schedule for a brief and a reply.
  • Civil - Patent Cases

  • KAR Q30: Do you have any standing order and/or any particular practice regarding the management of patent cases? If so, please describe them.
  • KAR A30: None beyond what is set forth in the local rules.
  • KAR Q31: If applicable, please upload your standing order regarding the management of patent cases.
  • KAR A31: Respondent skipped this question
  • KAR Q32: Do you have particular practice about Markman hearings? If so, please describe them including but not limited to whether you allow tutorial(s).
  • KAR A32: Respondent skipped this question.

    Civil Mediation

  • KAR Q33: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to submissions before a mediation, please describe them.
  • KAR A33: Please see standard mediation order.
  • KAR Q34: Do you have a standard pre-mediation order for the parties? If so, please attach it here.
  • KAR A34: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q35: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to conducting a mediation, please describe them here.
  • KAR A35: Unless the parties tell me it would be helpful, I am reluctant to conduct a joint session at which the parties state their respective positions though counsel.
  • KAR Q36: Do you require the party/parties to be present or available during a mediation?
  • KAR A36: Yes, a party with decision making authority must be available by phone. I much prefer to have the party with decision-making authority to be present, but sometimes allow phone participation.

    Criminal Matters

  • KAR Q37: Other than the requirements under Local Rule 116.5, what, if any, practices do you have in regard to status conferences in criminal cases?
  • KAR A37: None.
  • KAR Q38: Typically, at what point, will you refer a criminal case back to the district judge?
  • KAR A38: As soon as it is apparent there are no discovery disputes to be resolved.
  • KAR Q39: Do you have any particular practices as to scheduling in criminal cases? If so, please describe them.
  • KAR A39: I try to impress on counsel that the deadlines we are setting for discovery letters and motions are real deadlines.
  • General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

  • KAR Q40: Do you require the filing of a trial brief?
  • KAR A40: No.
  • KAR Q41: If you do not require the filing of a trial brief, under what circumstances do you think it would be helpful to the Court?
  • KAR A41: I generally think a trial brief would be helpful.
  • KAR Q42: Do you typically hold an initial pretrial conference in civil cases?
  • KAR A42: Yes.
  • KAR 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?
  • KAR A43: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR 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.)? Describe your practice.
  • KAR A44: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q45: Do you set a page limit for motions in limine? If so, what is it?
  • KAR A45: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q46: Do you typically hear motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
  • KAR A46: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q47: Do you typically resolve motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
  • KAR A47: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q48: Do you typically hear and/or resolve Daubert motions at the final pretrial conference?
  • KAR A48: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q49: Do you require the parties to provide a courtesy copy of trial exhibits to the Court before trial?
  • KAR A49: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q50: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, when do you require them?
  • KAR A50: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q51: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, what particular form is required?
  • KAR A51: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q52: Do you require trial exhibits to be pre-marked? If so, please describe your practice?
  • KAR A52: Respondent skipped this question.
  • General Trial Practice - Scheduling Trials

  • KAR Q53: Typically, when do you set a trial date in civil cases?
  • KAR A53: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q54: What is your typical trial schedule?
  • KAR A54: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q55: 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?
  • KAR A55: Respondent skipped this question.
  • General Trial Practice - Jury Selection

  • KAR Q56: Please describe your jury selection process.
  • KAR A56: I ask general questions of the entire venire, then question individual jurors on more sensitive matters at sidebar.
  • KAR Q57: Under what circumstances, if any, have you or would you consider using a juror questionnaire?
  • KAR A57: It seems highly unlikely.
  • KAR Q58: If you would consider the use of a jury questionnaire, when and in what form should it be proposed?
  • KAR A58: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q59: Have you or would you consider allowing attorney voir dire?
  • KAR A59: No.
  • KAR Q60: In civil trials, typically what number of jurors do you seat?
  • KAR A60: 8.
  • General Trial Practice - Trial Practices

  • KAR Q61: Do you require counsel to use the podium during openings, examination of witnesses and/or closings?
  • KAR A61: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q62: How many rounds of examination do you typically allow?
  • KAR A62: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q63: Under what, if any, circumstances, will you allow a rebuttal case?
  • KAR A63: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q64: Do you have any preferences about the use of chalks during openings and closings?
  • KAR A64: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q65: Do you have any particular practice in regard to jury charge conferences? If so, please describe it.
  • KAR A65: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q66: Do you provide a written copy of your jury charge to the jury?
  • KAR A66: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q67: Will you consider counsel's proposals of a special verdict form? If so, should it be in any particular format?
  • KAR A67: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q68: 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.
  • KAR A68: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q69: If you have any particular practices as to bench trials, please describe them.
  • KAR A69: Respondent skipped this question.

    Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters

  • KAR Q70: If your session has any standing orders, please attach them here.
  • KAR A70: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q71: Order #2
  • KAR A71: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q72: Order #3
  • KAR A72: Respondent skipped this question.
  • KAR Q73: 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.
  • KAR A73: Respondent skipped this question.


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