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Chief Judge Patti B. Saris

Born 1951 in Boston, MA

Federal Judicial Service
Judge, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Chief Judge, 2013 - Present.

Nominated by William J. Clinton on October 27, 1993, to a seat vacated by Walter Jay Skinner; Confirmed by the Senate on November 20, 1993, and received commission on November 24, 1993.

U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 1986-1989

Education
Radcliffe College, B.A., 1973
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1976

Staff
Chambers
Judicial Assistant Marie Losco
Clerk's Office
Courtroom Clerk Maryellen Molloy 617-748-9175 maryellen_molloy@mad.uscourts.gov
Docket Clerk Clary Geraldino-Karasek 617-748-9178  
    Clarilde_Geraldino-Karasek@mad.uscourts.gov
Court Reporter Lee Marzilli 617-345-6787  

Courtroom Number
19, 7th 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

 

USDC Judicial Forum Survey


Match word(s).

    Civil - Case Management

  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A1: No.
  • PBS Q2: If you have a specific scheduling order, please attach your order.
  • PBS A2: Respondent skipped this question.
  • PBS 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)?
  • PBS A3: No.
  • PBS Q4: What, if any, inquiries do you make about settlement prospects and/or interest in mediation at the initial scheduling conference?
  • PBS A4: The judge schedules mediation at the initial scheduling conference. The parties shall be prepared to discuss the amount of discovery necessary for effective settlement discussion.
  • PBS Q5: What, if any inquiries do you make about the liklihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference?
  • PBS A5: The Court schedules summary judgment briefing or a trial date.
  • PBS Q6: What schedule do you set at the initial scheduling conference?
  • PBS A6: The Court schedules (1) fact discovery, (2) expert discovery, (3) Daubert briefing, (4) summary judgment briefing, (5) trial, (6) mediation.
  • PBS Q7: After the initial scheduling conference, do you hold status conferences?
  • PBS A7: No.
  • PBS Q8: If so, when do you hold status conferences?
  • PBS A8: N/A
  • PBS Q9: If so, what issues do you address at status conferences?
  • PBS A9: N/A
  • Civil - Discovery

  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A10: The parties should be prepared to discuss a discovery schedule to facilitate settlement or dispositive motions.
  • PBS Q11: What, if any, issues related to electronically stored information should counsel be prepared to address at the initial scheduling conference?
  • PBS A11: The parties shall inform the Court if there is likely to be a dispute regarding a protective order.
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A12: No.
  • PBS Q13: Under what circumstances would you consider a bifurcation of discovery ?
  • PBS A13: See #10
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A14: The Court will inquire about the proportionality of discovery.
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A15: N/A
  • PBS Q16: Typically, do you resolve discovery motions or do you refer them to the magistrate judge?
  • PBS A16: I typically refer them to the magistrate judge.
  • PBS Q17: Do you typically hold a hearing on discovery?
  • PBS A17: No.
  • PBS Q18: Please describe your general practice regarding the resolution of discovery motions.
  • PBS A18: See above
  • PBS Q19: Under what circumstances will you consider emergency motions regarding discovery matters?
  • PBS A19: Rarely.
  • PBS Q20: Do you have any particular practices or requirements about expert disclosures?
  • PBS A20: No.
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A21: Schedule for filing of Daubert motions and other necessary expert discovery deadlines are set at the initial scheduling conference.
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A22: I rarely hold scheduling conferences for incarcerated pro se prisoners.
  • Civil - Dispositive Motions

  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A23: No.
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A24: Yes, See standing order.
  • PBS Q25: Do you typically allow reply briefs and/or surreply briefs?
  • PBS A25: Yes
  • PBS Q26: If you allow reply and/or surreply briefs, do you impose a page limit?
  • PBS A26: See local rules.
  • PBS Q27: Do you typically hold a hearing on motions to dismiss?
  • PBS A27: Yes
  • PBS Q28: Do you typically hold a hearing on summary judgment motions?
  • PBS A28: Yes
  • PBS Q29: If you typically hold hearings on dispositive motions, what, if any, time limits do you impose on counsel for their arguments?
  • PBS A29: Time limits imposed as needed.
  • PBS Q30: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you allow the filing of post-argument briefs?
  • PBS A30: I allow parties to bring new caselaw to my attention.
  • Civil - Patent Cases

  • PBS Q31: Do you have any standing order and/or any particular practice regarding the management of patent cases? If so, please describe them.
  • PBS A31: No.
  • PBS Q32: If applicable, please upload your standing order regarding the management of patent cases.
  • PBS A32: Respondent skipped this question
  • PBS Q33: Do you have particular practice about Markman hearings? If so, please describe them including but not limited to whether you allow tutorial(s).
  • PBS A33: I encourage video tutorials which will be filed and made part of the record. I also permit evidentiary hearings by experts in complex cases.
  • Criminal Matters

  • PBS Q34: Do you handle matters regarding discovery in criminal cases?
  • PBS A34: No.
  • PBS Q35: Do you have any particular practices as to scheduling in criminal cases? If so, please describe them.
  • PBS A35: At the close of discovery, the Court holds an initial pretrial conference. During this conference the parties should be prepared to complete the pretrial order.
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A36: I resolve the motion.
  • PBS Q37: Do you typically hold a hearing on motions for review of a detention order?
  • PBS A37: Yes.
  • PBS Q38: Do you have any particular practices regarding the filing of suppression motions or hearings on suppression motions?
  • PBS A38: I always hold a hearing.
  • General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

  • PBS Q39: Do you require the filing of a trial brief?
  • PBS A39: Yes, in both civil and criminal cases. Sometimes I waive the requirement if there has already been extensive briefing. In civil cases the pretrial memo is due seven days in advance of the final pretrial conference. In criminal cases the deadlines the vary.
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A40: Respondent skipped this question.
  • PBS 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)?
  • PBS A41: I love motions in limine on key evidentiary issues. At the initial pretrial conference, counsel shall address the kinds of issues the Court will need to resolve prior to trial (i.e. Daubert). In addition, I want a realistic understanding of the number of witnesses and the length of the trial.
  • PBS Q42: Do you typically hold an initial pretrial conference in civil cases?
  • PBS A42: No.
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A43:In civil cases deadlines are set at the final pretrial conference. In a criminal case all deadlines are set in the pretrial order.
  • PBS 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.)?
  • PBS A44: No.
  • PBS Q45: Do you set a page limit for motions in limine? If so, what is it?
  • PBS A45: Yes, See local rules.
  • PBS Q46: Do you typically hear motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
  • PBS A46: Yes.
  • PBS Q47: Do you typically resolve motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?
  • PBS A47: Sometimes
  • PBS Q48: Do you typically hear and/or resolve Daubert motions at the final pretrial conference?
  • PBS A48: The parties should file a motion for a Daubert hearing before the pretrial conference so the Court can schedule a hearing.
  • PBS Q49: Do you require the parties to provide a courtesy copy of trial exhibits to the Court before trial?
  • PBS A49: Yes.
  • PBS Q50: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, when do you require them?
  • PBS A50: At trial.
  • PBS Q51: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, what particular form is required?
  • PBS A51: Respondent skipped this question.
  • PBS Q52: Do you require trial exhibits to be pre-marked? If so, please describe your practice?
  • PBS A52: Yes, exhibits should be numbered if the exhibit is agreed upon by both parties. Exhbits that are contested should be lettered.
  • Criminal - Scheduling Trials

  • PBS Q53: Typically, when do you set a trial date in criminal cases?
  • PBS A53: It varies, trial dates are set at the initial pretrial conference.
  • PBS Q54: Typically, when do you set a trial date in civil cases?
  • PBS A54: Trial dates in civil cases are set either at the 16(b) hearing or after dispositive motions are resolved.
  • PBS Q55: What is your typical trial schedule?
  • PBS A55: 9AM-1PM or 9AM-4PM depending on the length of the trial and the Court's schedule.
  • PBS 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?
  • PBS A56: Yes, but the time limits vary depending on the case.
  • Criminal - Jury Selection

  • PBS Q57: Please describe your jury selection process.
  • PBS A57: I ask the standard voir dire questions as well as specific questions suggested by attorneys to the entire venire. Any potential juror who responds positively by raising a hand comes to side bar. I ask the initial question and counsel are welcome to ask follow-up questions. The clerk places jurors in the box in the order listed in the jury list. The government exercises the first set of preemptories and then the defendant. The clerk then fills the empty seats until all preemptories are used or counsel declares they are satisfied. There is no back challenging. Alternates are empaneled separately.
  • PBS Q58: Under what circumstances, if any, have you or would you consider using a juror questionnaire?
  • PBS A58: Juror questionnaires have been helpful in sensitive cases, i.e. involving child pornography or extensive publicity.
  • PBS Q59: If you would consider the use of a jury questionnaire, when and in what form should it be proposed?
  • PBS A59: It should be submitted at the final pretrial and should be short.
  • PBS Q60: Have you or would you consider allowing attorney voir dire?
  • PBS A60: Yes, Attorney voir dire is allowed at sidebar as a follow-up to the Court's inquiry when a juror has raised his/her hand in response to a question concerning possible bias or prejudice.
  • PBS Q61: In civil trials, typically what number of jurors do you seat?
  • PBS A61: 10.
  • PBS Q62: In criminal trials, typically how many alternate jurors do you seat?
  • PBS A62: 4.
  • General Trial Practice - Trial Practices

  • PBS Q63: Do you require counsel to use the podium during openings, examination of witnesses and/or closings?
  • PBS A63: No.
  • PBS Q64: How many rounds of examination do you typically allow?
  • PBS A64: Direct & Cross, Redirect, Recross.
  • PBS Q65: Under what, if any, circumstances, will you allow a rebuttal case?
  • PBS A65: Generally allowed.
  • PBS Q66: Do you have any preferences about the use of chalks during openings and closings?
  • PBS A66: Encouraged where useful.
  • PBS Q67: Do you have any particular practice in regard to jury charge conferences? If so, please describe it.
  • PBS A67: In civil cases, I do the jury charge conferences off the record.
  • PBS Q68: Do you provide a written copy of your jury charge to the jury?
  • PBS A68: Yes, Sometimes in a particularly long charge I provide a written copy of the jury charge to the jury.
  • PBS Q69: Will you consider counsel's proposals of a special verdict form? If so, should it be in any particular format?
  • PBS A69: Yes.
  • PBS 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.
  • PBS A70: Respondent skipped this question
  • PBS Q71: If you have any particular practices as to bench trials, please describe them.
  • PBS A71: I like proposed findings of fact and law prior to trial. Typically, I allow them to be supplemented within two weeks post trial. I will not wait until a transcript is prepared. There is also a bench trial order available on the website.
  • Criminal - Sentencing/Revocation Hearings

  • PBS Q72: Do you require a sentencing memorandum in every case?
  • PBS A72: No.
  • PBS Q73: If you do not require a sentencing memorandum in every case, when would it be helpful to you?
  • PBS A73: I require a sentencing memorandum when the guidelines are disputed or a variance or departure is sought.
  • PBS Q74: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you consider an expedited sentencing?
  • PBS A74: I allow expedited sentencing when the typical 90-day period will result in unnecessary time incarcerated, usually in illegal re-entry cases.
  • PBS Q75: Do you have any particular practices regarding the presentation of victim impact statements at sentencing?
  • PBS A75: No.
  • PBS Q76: Under what, if any circumstances, would you consider the postponement of a sentencing hearing?
  • PBS A76: I postpone hearings when a counsel needs additional information, like victim impact statements or psychiatric reports, when a defendant is cooperating, or when there is a substantial dispute that requires an evidentiary hearing.
  • PBS Q77: Do you have any particular practices as to revocation matters?
  • PBS A77: N/A
  • Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters

  • PBS Q78: If your session has any standing orders, please attach them here.
  • PBS A78: Respondent skipped this question.
  • PBS Q79: Order #2
  • PBS A79: Respondent skipped this question.
  • PBS Q80: Order #3
  • PBS A80: Respondent skipped this question.
  • PBS 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.
  • PBS A81: Counsel shall not assume a motion for a continuance will be granted. If the Court hasn't ruled, counsel shall contact the courtroom deputy. Last minute requests to continue short of a true emergency are disfavored.

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