Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton

Federal Judicial Service

Judge, U. S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.

Nominated by George H.W. Bush on April 28, 1992, to a new seat created by 104 Stat. 5089; Confirmed by the Senate on September 23, 1992, and received commission on September 24, 1992.


Dartmouth College, A.B., 1960
Columbia Law School, LL.B., 1966


Boston Courthouse

John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse
1 Courthouse Way, Suite 2300
Boston, Massachusetts 02210


4, 3rd floor

John J. Moakley Federal Courthouse - Boston, MA
John J. Moakley Federal Courthouse - Boston, MA

Courtroom Technology

Contact the courtroom clerk regarding the use of technology in the courtroom. View our courtroom technology page for more information on the technology that is available.

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Judicial Assistant Patricia Verrier    
Courtroom Clerk Christine Lima 617-748-9158 christine_lima@mad.uscourts.gov
Docket Clerk Doug Warnock 617-748-9155 douglas_warnock@mad.uscourts.gov
Court Reporter Kristin Kelley   kmob929@gmail.com
USDC Judicial Forum Survey

Civil - Case Management

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)?

A3: Yes, If Yes, please describe your requirement. I like to see copies of the litigant's signatures on Rule 16.1 certificates rather than electronic signatures; original signatures are not necessary for filing.

Q6: What schedule do you set at the initial scheduling conference?

A6: For the entire case including the dates for final pretrial conference and trial

Q8: If so, when do you hold status conferences?

A8: I don't but I encourage mediation after fact discovery

Civil - Discovery

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?

A12: In any such order counsel should confirm that it is specifically subject to the provisions of Local Rule 7.2

Q18: Please describe your general practice regarding the resolution of discovery motions.

A18: I discourage discovery motions in the first place, usually send them to the magistrate judge and impose sanctions against obstructive counsel

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?

A22: Yes, I constantly urge pro ses to retain counsel with the help of lawyers' referral service but remind them, if they don't, they will need to comply with rules of procedure.

Civil - Dispositive Motions

Q25: Do you typically allow reply briefs and/or surreply briefs?

A25: No. Only with leave of court for good cause shown.

Q27: Do you typically hold a hearing on motions to dismiss?

A27: Sometimes in conjunction with the scheduling conference but not usually

Q28: Do you typically hold a hearing on summary judgment motions?

A28: Only when one or more issues are not sufficiently briefed

Civil - Patent Cases

Q33: Do you have particular practice about Markman hearings? If so, please describe them including but not limited to whether you allow tutorial(s).

A33: I impose time limits on Markman hearings and allow counsel to use this alloted time as they choose

Criminal Matters

General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

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?

A40: It is quite often helpful but I don't require it in addition to early requests for instructions to the jury.

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?

A43: at the pretrial conf; in limine motions generally due two or three weeks before trial along with requests for instructions to the jury, voir dire questions, objections to opponent's list of witnesses and exhibits, etc.

Q46: Do you typically hear motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?

A46: I announce my tentative rulings and give counsel a chance to dissuade me.

Q52: Do you require trial exhibits to be pre-marked? If so, please describe your practice?

A52: Yes, no "government exhibits" or "defendants' exhibits" just exhibits marked sequentially.

Criminal - Scheduling Trials

Q55: What is your typical trial schedule?

A55: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

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?

A56: Yes; time limits are determined at the final pretrial conference after consultation with counsel and, with respect to closing arguments, at the charge conference

Criminal - Jury Selection

Q57: Please describe your jury selection process.

A57: The Court poses voir dire questions as supplemented by counsel, to the sworn panel, and keeps track of affirmative responses of each panelist. The deputy fills the jury box with randomly chosen jurors who are then called to sidebar to explain affirmative responses and to answer any additional related questions posed by counsel. If a juror is excused for cause he/she is replaced until there is a so-called clean slate in the jury box. The Court then inquires orally about the occupation of each potential juror and of his/her spouse. Preemptory challenges are then exercised at sidebar alternately until each side is satisfied understanding that there are no back strikes after each round. The same procedure is followed in successive rounds until a complete jury is chosen.

Q60: Have you or would you consider allowing attorney voir dire?

A60: Yes, If so, please describe the circumstances under which you have or would allow attorney voir dire. Attorneys participate in the voir dire under the Court's direction.

General Trial Practice - Trial Practices

Q63: Do you require counsel to use the podium during openings, examination of witnesses and/or closings?

A63: Yes, a movable podium or none at all so long as counsel does not wander.

Q64: How many rounds of examination do you typically allow?

A64: Direct & Cross, Redirect, Recross, on rare occasions: re-direct and re-cross

Q66: Do you have any preferences about the use of chalks during openings and closings?

A66: They are allowed, subject to objection of opposing
counsel beforehand

Q67: Do you have any particular practice in regard to jury charge conferences? If so, please describe it.

A67: They are always held after (or near) the end of the testimony and the Court informs counsel whether it will not give the substance of their requested instructions.

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.

A70: The Court does not permit counsel to wander about the courtroom during openings, closings or the examination of witnesses and allows sidebars only when deemed absolutely necessary

Q71: If you have any particular practices as to bench trials, please describe them.

A71: The Court requires counsel to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law before the start of trial; they may be supplemented after the conclusion of trial.

Criminal - Sentencing/Revocation Hearings

Q72: Do you require a sentencing memorandum in every case?

A72: No, but if counsel wants the Court to give his/her recommendation full and complete consideration, it is strongly advised.

Q74: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you consider an expedited sentencing?

A74: When the probation officer agrees that it is appropriate.

Q77: Do you have any particular practices as to revocation matters?

A77: I ask counsel specifically about the provision of Fed.R.Crim.P. 32.1(b)(2)

Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters

Q79: Order #2

A79: Respondent skipped this question

Q80: Order #3

A80: Respondent skipped this question

Post-Pandemic Practices