Judge Indira Talwani

Born 1960 in Engelwood, NJ

Federal Judicial Service

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

Nominated by Barack Obama on September 24, 2013, to a seat vacated by Mark L. Wolf; Confirmed by the Senate on May 8, 2014, and received commission on May 12, 2014.


Harvard / Radcliffe College, B.A., 1982
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, J.D., 1988


Boston Courthouse

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


9, 3rd floor

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

Courtroom Technology

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Courtroom Clerk Gail MacDonald Marchione 617-748-4007 gail_macdonald@mad.uscourts.gov
Docket Clerk Danielle Kelly 617-748-9085 danielle_kelly@mad.uscourts.gov
Court Reporter Robert Paschal   rwp.reporter@gmail.com
USDC Judicial Forum Survey

Civil - Case Management

Q4: What, if any, inquiries do you make about settlement prospects and/or interest in mediation at the initial scheduling conference?

A4: I typically ask if the parties are interested in mediation before a magistrate judge.

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

A6: I typically schedule close of fact discovery, expert discovery and dispositive motion filing dates.

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

A8: I typically hold a status conference at the end of fact discovery. I also typically hold a status conference after denying a summary judgment motion.

Q9: If so, what issues do you address at status conferences?

A9: I typically ask at each status conference if the parties are interested in mediation before a magistrate judge. I also ask at the status conference following fact discovery if counsel anticipate filing dispositive motions and if they anticipate expert discovery. If counsel anticipate both, I discuss whether dispositive motions or expert discovery should happen first, and may amend the scheduling order accordingly.

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: Although I do not require a particular format, the orders I issue include the requirement that any request to file documents under seal must be support by good cause other than the fact that the parties agree as to confidentiality or that the documents were exchanged pursuant to the protective order.

Q13: Under what circumstances would you consider a bifurcation of discovery ?

A13: I will consider bifurcation of discovery on a case-by-case basis.

Q17: Do you typically hold a hearing on discovery?

A17: Respondent skipped this question.

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

A18: My scheduling order suggests that counsel request a brief conference in advance of filing a written motion. I try to determine at such a conference if there is an expeditious resolution of the issue and I also try to ensure that objections as to part of a request or interrogatory are not holding up production or answers to unobjected portions of the request or interrogator. If discovery motions are document intensive, I will refer them to the magistrate judge.

Q19: Under what circumstances will you consider emergency motions regarding discovery matters?

A19: I review all emergency motions when filed. I typically deny such motions without prejudice where counsel have failed to include a 7.1 certificate. If the motion presents an issue that should be resolved in less than fourteen days but should not be decided ex parte, I will typically issue an order requesting a response on a shortened schedule. If the motion presents an issue that does not need to be decided in less than fourteen days, I will not consider it on an emergency basis.

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?

A21: I typically set expert discovery deadlines at the initial scheduling conference, subject to revision at the status conference held at the close of fact discovery. I do not have a typical schedule for the filing of Daubert motions.

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: At scheduling conferences involving pro se litigants, I typically describe the Federal Bar Association's program for pro bono counsel for mediations before a magistrate judge.

Civil - Dispositive Motions

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?

A24: Yes, I require one courtesy copy, with exhibit tabs, for affidavits and other documents exceeding 20 pages or evidencing facts submitted pursuant to L.R. 7.1(b) (1) if such filings in connection with a particular motion exceed twenty pages (exclusive of the length).

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

A25: Reply briefs are permitted under Local Rule 56.1 in connection with summary judgment motions. I typically do not otherwise allow reply briefs absent good cause.

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

A27: I typically hold a hearing before granting a motion to dismiss. I may or may not hold a hearing before denying a motion for summary judgment.

Q30: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you allow the filing of post-argument briefs?

A30: I may allow the filing of post-argument briefs if I raise an issue at argument not addressed by the parties in their briefing.

Civil - Patent Cases

Criminal Matters

General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

Q39: Do you require the filing of a trial brief?

A39: Yes, in both civil and criminal 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?

A43: I typically set deadlines in a scheduling order issued after any summary judgment motions are resolved. I will typically set pretrial disclosures 35 days before trial, motions in limine 21 days before trial, proposed voir dire, jury instructions, and verdict forms 14 days before trial.

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.)?

A44: I require ecf filing of these proposed documents and a disc containing modifiable Microsoft Word copies of the proposed questions, instructions and forms.

Q47: Do you typically resolve motions in limine at the final pretrial conference?

A47: I try to resolve motions in limine before the final pretrial conference.

Q51: If courtesy copies of trial exhibits are required, what particular form is required?

A51: I typically request submission of a disc containing a courtesy copy of all exhibits 35 days before trial. If trial exhibits are voluminous, I also request a hard copy, with exhibit tabs, to be available at trial.

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

A52: Yes, Trial exhibits should be marked by a single sequence of numbers, regardless of which party is the proponent of an exhibit.

Criminal - Scheduling Trials

Q53: Typically, when do you set a trial date in criminal cases?

A53: Unless the trial is anticipated to be unusually long or involve numerous defendants, I typically set a trial date at the initial conference held within two weeks of the Final Report from the magistrate judge.

Q54: Typically, when do you set a trial date in civil cases?

A54: I typically set a trial date at the status conference following resolution of any dispositive motions.

Q55: What is your typical trial schedule?

A55: During trial, the jury typically sits from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., with a break at 11:00 a.m. Attorneys should be available for matters that need to be addressed without the jury between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m., and after 2:00 p.m. The jury typically deliberates on a full day schedule, that may be adjusted based on jury members' commute preferences.

Criminal - Jury Selection

Q57: Please describe your jury selection process.

A57: Counsel will receive a list of the jurors’ names and the jurors will file into the courtroom and sit in the order that their names appear on the list. The court will then ask voir dire questions and jurors will raise their hands if their answer is “yes” to the question. The court will record which jurors raised their hands for each question. The court will call the jurors who raised their hands to side bar and ask follow up questions after all questions are asked. Counsel can propose questions for approval at that time. The court will then decide whether to excuse for cause. After the court excuses for cause, the parties may exercise their preemptory challenges by writing them on pieces of paper and handing them to the clerk. Each side has three preemptory challenges.

General Trial Practice - Trial Practices

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: Counsel are required to provide opposing counsel, no later than the conclusion of the trial day, the names of the expected witnesses for the following day and a reasonable projection of the witness lineup for the day after that.

Criminal - Sentencing/Revocation Hearings

Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters

Q79: Order #2

A79: Respondent skipped this question.

Q80: Order #3

A80: Respondent skipped this question.