Tips for litigating in
the Central District of
for Out of Town Counsel
The Court Houses
- The Central District of California covers Los Angeles,
Orange, San Luis
Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
(28 USC 84)
- We now have, in addition to the Downtown courthouse,
in Santa Ana for Orange County and Riverside (for Riverside and San
The downtown Los Angeles courthouse is the Western Division. Documents
are accepted for filing in the Western Division clerk's office even for
Santa Ana (Southern Division) and Riverside (Eastern Division).
some documents are best filed directly in the clerk's office in the
where your case is being litigated.
- There are approximately 30 judges (including those having
in the Western Division, 6 in the Southern Division and 1 in the
312 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012, (213) 2894-3645.
751 W. Santa Ana Boulevard
34 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 919, Santa Ana 92701-4025, (714) 836-2467.
4100 Main Street, Clerk's Office 137A, P.O. Box 13000 Riverside
Getting documents to
- We have two court houses in Los Angeles. The old court
house on 312 N.
Spring Street (entrances on both Main Street and Spring Street) has the
clerk's office, accessible most easily from the Main Street entrance.
newer building, the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building is more than a
blocks away, and a good 20 minute walking distance, located on 255 E.
Los Angeles, CA 90012 has courts and chambers of about eight of
the judges. When a case has been assigned, make sure you find out in
courthouse the judge is located.
- In the old Court House, the fourth floor snack bar is often
to meet clients and local counsel. There is also a small cafe
that serves sandwiches accessible from the Main Street
The attorneys lounge on the second
is a good refuge for any last minute preparation--out of town lawyers
welcome. The attorneys lounge on the second floor has meeting rooms,
telephones, a computer with internet and a printer.
- For lunch, excellent Chinese and Vietnamese food is
available within a
fifteen minute walk from the old courthouse. Little Tokyo is closer to
the Roybal building.
- The Central District of California provides a form for
admission to a
pro hac vice. The form (G-64) and proposed order is filled out
by pro hac vice counsel and local
counsel. No other motions are required. Pro hac vice applications now
$275. See Local Rule 83-2.3. Effective July 26, 2010, a
CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING for the applicant from the state for which
the applicant is a member of the bar, and which has been issued within
30 days, must be attached to the
application. Download forms here.
Local counsel ordinarily must be designated. Local Rule
- Unlike some courts, the Central District of California
in preliminary injunction hearings. Cross examination may be available
by Local Rule of those who have submitted declarations if advance
is given. [Local Rule 7-7.5.4 ]
- Judges are chosen "on the wheel." The judge's
name is indentified
letter initials following the case number. A Magistrate Judge
assigned to each case and the initials of the Magistrate Judge appear
parenthesis following the initials of the Judge.
- Electronic transmission of briefs to local counsel are
Fedexing either hard copies or computer disks and most documents must
be filed online anyway. Legible copies faxed to
counsel may be filed. Scanned signed declarations are filed
electronically with other documents.
Preparing documents for
filing in the Central
- Pay attention to the rules on electronic filing.
the original complaint and amended complaints, almost everything needs
to be filed
electronically (and this is likely to change also in 2013). In order to
qualify to obtain login credentials to file
online, it is necessary to obtaining training. See the specific court
rules regarding electronic
filing available from the Central Distrcit CM/ECF support page
well as an excellent unofficial manual prepared by an attorney in
Orange County, Martin
which may be downloaded from his website.
Each judge has their own rules regarding required
delivery of courtesy copies of documents filed online. Most
not all judges require the courtesy copies to follow the rules for
manually file below. While this may seem cumbersome if you
yourself, some attorneys services will receive copies of your
electronic pdf filed documents and prepare
and deliver them
to chambers as courtesy copies.
- Copies of proposed orders are emailed to the judge after
they are electroncially lodged electronically. See the
Local Local Rules of the specific judge.
Each judge has their owns specific rules, affectionately referred to as
the "Local Local Rules." Often they contain excellent general
on how to present matter to the court. They may be obtained from the
Bar Association and also appear in the Local Rules book sold by the Los
Angeles Daily Journal, the major local legal newspaper. The specific
drawn for a case is identified by his or her initials as the suffix on
the case number. In parenthesis following the Judge's initials will be
the initials of the Magistrate Judge assigned to the case.
of the Local Rules may also be purchased from the Los Angeles Daily
at 213-229-5300. The paperback volume also includes general
and copies of the "Local Local Rules" of various members of the federal
- We use lined and 28 line numbered paper for documents filed
a WordPerfect or Word "style" file from your local counsel.
- Get a copy of the Local Rules from your local counsel. Pay
to Local Rule 11-3, for form of pleadings and papers filed with the
The Court Clerks pay considerable attention to these rules.
watch out for page limitations for certain documents such as
Local Rule 11-3.2.1 limits typeface so that proportional typeface is
not smaller than pica
size, with not more than ten (10) typed characters per inch.
Times Roman exceeds that density and can result in documents being
by some judges.
- As a matter of tradition, the parties names on placed on
the left and
from the case number and identification of the document by a column of
closed parenthesis, and an underline running from close to the left
of the pleading paper to the column of closed parenthesis.
- Two copies of each pleading are submitted for filing.
- Each of the copies of manually filed initiating documents
submitted are bluebacked.
- The pleadings must be two hole punched at the top.
- A description of the paper should appear in the lower right
of each blueback. That permits the papers to be readily identified in
files. They can be typed on the bluebacks, typed on labels and affixed
to the bluebacks or computer generated and adhered in some other manner
to the bluebacks.
- Pleading paper has two closely spaced narrow vertical lines
from the left hand edge of the paper, and another narrow vertical line
about a quarter inch from the right hand side of the paper. To the left
of the double lines on the left side of the paper are numbers, double
numbered from 1 to 28. This has become standard in California in both
and state courts, and papers will be rejected which do not follow this
- The court title begins at line 8 or below.
- The names of the parties begin at line 11 or below.
- One of the bluebacks, one having documents with all
should be stamped ORIGINAL and the other should be stamped COPY.
- Conformed copies:
- If you want a conformed copy, include a self addressed
with a copy.
- If you want a conformed copy of a document requiring
approval by the
include another self addressed stamped envelope and clearly mark it so
that the clerk will know to hold it until it has been signed by the
prior to returning the document to you.
- Local Rules now permit the filing of copies of documents
signatures providing that the originals are available for production on
- Names and addresses of counsel, their bar numbers and their
fax numbers appear in the upper left hand corner of the document.
Note that email addresses are required immediately below t he
name of counsel.
at the outset of the case
Special documents may need to be filed at the outset of the case by
- Copies of the civil cover sheet should be filed at the time
- A Certification as to Interested Parties should be filed at
the time of
an initial appearance by each party.
- Intellectual property cases usually require the preparation
identifying particular copyrights, trademark registrations or patents
are then completed by the clerk and forwarded to the Copyright Office
to the Patent and Trademark Office.
- On filing a case, the clerk will provide a copy of Civility
Guidelines, notice to counsel regarding certain local rules, and Notice
of Assignment to United States Magistrate Judge.
- Even though the complaint is filed by a paper filing, a pdf
of the originating filed documents must be emailed to the court 24
hours after the original
documents are filed.
Also pay particular
attention to the requirements
Local Rule 26-6 and Local Rule 16-9.
- Stipulations used to be combined with orders in one
electronic filing, they have become separate documents. The
might be entitled: or captioned: STIPULATION TO CONTINUE THE DATE FOR
CONFERENCE". The order might be captioned [Proposed] ORDER or
[Proposed] ORDER ON
STIPULATION TO CONTINUE THE DATE FOR THE STATUS CONFERENCE.
Orders, after setting out the subject matter typically end
the statement: "IT IS SO ORDERED." followed
a date and signature line for the judge. Underneath the signature line,
simply type "United States District Judge".
- Copies of documents filed by the Court are available on the
- If you wish to do something that varies from the Local
Rules or the
Rules, obtain a formal stipulation from opposing counsel and have an
order based on the stipulation
by the Judge. This is commonly done when seeking extensions
to respond to pleadings or obtaining extensions of time to respond to
Jury Trial Demand
- Local Rule 26-6 incorporates the various disclosure
with the extensive 1993 amendments to the Federal Rules.
- Early disclosures are required of parties and documents.
- Local Rule 16-9 establishes the various pretrial
materials are required, the following outline some, but not all of the
general procedures required:
Meeting of counsel at least 40 days before pretrial conference.
21 days (usually three Mondays) before the pretrial conference:
Serve and file Memorandum of Contentions of Fact and Law
7 days (usually Monday) before the pretrial conference, lodge the
pretrial conference order signed by all counsel.
Serve and file Witness lists
File Joint Exhibit List
(The format for the pretrial conference order appears following the
Local Rules. A copy is also posted on this website.)
Demands for jury trial in pleadings requires an indication on
that there is a jury trial demand, and a separate request and
usually after the end of the pleading.
Motions are normally served at least 28 days prior to the
if served electronically, and at least 31 days prior to the hearing
date if served by mail if permitted where there is an
from electronic filing . The motion must be filed with the
at least 20 days
prior to the hearing date. The normally hearing date for
is Monday and the dates do not usually have to be reserved in
However, in some circumstances some judges may have a motion hearing
on a date other than Monday, and motions may not be heard every
Monday. Local Rule 7-3 requires a prefiling
of counsel before a motion is filed. If the motion is one
be filed by a particular date, that conference must be held at least 5
days prior to that last date for filing. Otherwise, the
must take place at least 10 days before filing the motion. A
regarding the conference must appear in the motion, if resolution is
reached. A current review of this rule is
motion is contemplated.
District Web Site
The Central District now has an excellect web site, www.cacd.uscourts.gov
which includes the local rules which may be downloaded, various court
the calendars of the various judges, a comparison of rule revisions,
other helpful information.
Your help would be appreciated in bringing to my attention any
in the above.
(last updated 3.11.11)
Paul D. Supnik
Attorney at Law
Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1250
Hills, CA 90212
Copyright and Trademark Law;
Publishing, Media and General Entertainment Law;
New Media and
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