Chief Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell
Born 1960 in Mount Clemens, Michigan
Federal Judicial Service
Chief Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 2023-present.
Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.
First appointed to the Court January 21, 2015.
University of Massachusetts/Amherst, cum laude, B.A., 1986
Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 1991
John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2300
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
23, 7th floor
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Chambers Procedures/Standing Orders/Sample OrdersN/A
USDC Judicial Forum Survey
Civil - Case Management
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?
Q2: If you have a specific scheduling order, please attach your order.
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)?
Q4: What, if any, inquiries do you make about settlement prospects and/or interest in mediation at the initial scheduling conference?
Q5: What, if any inquiries do you make about the liklihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference?
Q6: What schedule do you set at the initial scheduling conference?
Q8: If so, when do you hold status conferences?
Q9: If so, what issues do you address at status conferences?
Civil - Discovery
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?
Q11: What, if any, issues related to electronically stored information should counsel be prepared to address at the initial scheduling conference?
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?
Q13: Under what circumstances would you consider a bifurcation of discovery ?
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?
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?
Q17: Please describe your general practice regarding the resolution of disovery motions.
Q18: Under what circumstances will you consider emergency motions regarding discovery matters?
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?
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?
Civil - Dispositive Motions
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?
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?
Q24: Do you typically allow reply briefs and/or surreply briefs?
Q25: If you allow reply and/or surreply briefs, do you impose a page limit?
Q28: If you typically hold hearings on dispositive motions, what, if any, time limits do you impose on counsel for their arguments?
Q29: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you allow the filing of post-argument briefs?
Civil - Patent Cases
Q30: Do you have any standing order and/or any particular practice regarding the management of patent cases? If so, please describe them.
Q31: If applicable, please upload your standing order regarding the management of patent cases.
Q32: Do you have particular practice about Markman hearings? If so, please describe them including but not limited to whether you allow tutorial(s).
Q33: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to submissions before a mediation, please describe them.
Q34: Do you have a standard pre-mediation order for the parties? If so, please attache it here.
Q35: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to conducting a mediation, please describe them here.
Q36: Do you require the party/parties to be present or available during a mediation?
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?
Q38: Typically, at what point, will you refer a criminal case back to the district judge?
Q39: Do you have any particular practices as to scheduling in criminal cases? If so, please describe them.
General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters
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?
Q42: Do you typically hold an initial pretrial conference in civil cases?
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?
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.
Q48: Do you typically hear and/or resolve Daubert motions at the final pretrial conference?
Q49: Do you require the parties to provide a courtesy copy of trial exhibits to the Court before trial?
Q50: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, when do you require them?
Q51: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, what particular form is required?
Q52: Do you require trial exhibits to be pre-marked? If so, please describe your practice?
General Trial Practice - Scheduling Trials
Q53: Typically, when do you set a trial date in civil cases?
Q54: What is your typical trial schedule?
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?
General Trial Practice - Jury Selection
Q56: Please describe your jury selection process.
Q57: Under what circumstances, if any, have you or would you consider using a juror questionnaire?
Q58: If you would consider the use of a jury questionnaire, when and in what form should it be proposed?
Q59: Have you or would you consider allowing attorney voir dire?
General Trial Practice - Trial Practices
Q61: Do you require counsel to use the podium during openings, examination of witnesses and/or closings?
Q62: How many rounds of examination do you typically allow?
Q63: Under what, if any, circumstances, will you allow a rebuttal case?
Q64: Do you have any preferences about the use of chalks during openings and closings?
Q65: Do you have any particular practice in regard to jury charge conferences? If so, please describe it.
Q67: Will you consider counsel's proposals of a special verdict form? If so, should it be in any particular format?
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.
Q69: If you have any particular practices as to bench trials, please describe them.
Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters
Q70: If your session has any standing orders, please attach them here.
Q71: Order #2
Q72: Order #3
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.
Q74: As of Fall 2022, are there any case events that you routinely conduct via Zoom in civil cases? If so, what are they?
Q75: As of Fall 2022, are there any case events that you routinely conduct via Zoom in criminal cases? If so, what are they?
Q76: As of Fall 2022, if there are case events that you routinely conduct in person that you would consider conducting via Zoom, what are those case events and under what circumstances would you consider conducting them via Zoom?