Indiana’s Federal District Court Local Rule Changes Now in Effect

Indianapolis and Hammond, Indiana — Indiana’s federal district courts have recently amended their local rules. Some of the recent changes have implications for Indiana intellectual property attorneys filing patent, trademark, and copyright lawsuits.

Effective January 1, 2011, the Southern District Court of Indiana amended its discovery rules to “encourage informal resolution of discovery disputes, including disputes that might otherwise derail a deposition.” Specifically, Local Rule 37.1 is amended to require that if attorneys’ good faith efforts to resolve a discovery dispute are unsuccessful, attorneys “are encouraged” to contact the Magistrate’s office for assistance in resolving the dispute by telephone or other informal methods. If this conference does not resolve the dispute, the amended rule allows counsel to file motions raising the dispute. The motion must recite the efforts to resolve the dispute in the motion, rather than the prior rule’s requirement of a separate statement discussing these efforts. Effective January 1, 2011, Local Rule 37.3, “Mode of Raising Discovery Dispute with the Court,” is deleted.

The Southern District Court of Indiana also amended Local Rule 83.7 to require that an attorney’s motion to withdraw include the client’s contact information. Local Rule 23.1, regarding class action lawsuits, was deleted to eliminate the 90-day waiting deadline for certification of a class.

The Northern District of Indiana has amended Local Rule 7.1(e) to read “All briefs shall cite to supporting legal authority.” The amendment also deletes language suggesting that copies of the cited authorities need not be appended to the brief. Local Rule 56.1, regarding summary judgment, was also re-worded to simplify the language, but this change is not substantive. The Northern District’s Local Rule amendments were effective December 1, 2010.

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