Judge Katherine A. Robertson

Born 1953 in Princeton, New Jersey

Federal Judicial Service

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

First appointed to the Court January 6, 2015.


Princeton University, B.A., 1975
Western New England College School of Law, summa cum laude, J.D., 1990


Springfield Courthouse

United States Courthouse
300 State Street, Suite 120
Springfield, Massachusetts 01105


Hampshire Courtroom

United States Courthouse - Springfield, MA
United States Courthouse - Springfield, MA

Courtroom Technology

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Courtroom / Docket Clerk Melissa Rivera 413-785-6802 melissa_rivera@mad.uscourts.gov
Chambers Procedures/Standing Orders/Sample Orders
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 ask about the status of the settlement demand and response thereto, whether the case might be amenable to early resolution, and what the parties need in discovery to evaluate possible resolution. If appropriate, I set a deadline for the parties to report to the court whether the case should be referred to mediation.

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

A6: Generally, I schedule through expert disclosures and depositions and the filing of dispositive motions.

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

A8: At the close of non-expert discovery, unless it's clear that the case will really turn on expert opinion.

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

A9: I address all of these issues, and, depending on what I hear, I set further dates as appropriate, e.g., a hearing date for dispostive motions, or pre-trial conference and trial dates.

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?

A10: The need for a protective order; possible complications in discovery, any need for possible court intervention to obtain documents from third parties, any issue about which the parties (or a party) thinks the court should be aware.

Q11: What, if any, issues related to electronically stored information should counsel be prepared to address at the initial scheduling conference?

A11: Generally, I have not heard about ESI problems from counsel 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?

A12: I don't require a particular format. I may set a deadline if I think the lack of a protective order will otherwise slow down discovery.

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

A13: If a discrete issue might be dispositive, discovery could be limited and focused on the issue, and this discovery could be accomplished comparatively quickly.

Q16: Do you typically hold hearing on discovery motions?

A16: I consider whether the parties have requested a hearing and whether it appears that a resolution of the issues can be worked out in the course of a hearing. I often hold a hearing.

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?

A20: I generally set expert disclosure deadlines at the initial scheduling conference. Because I think Daubert motions are the province of the trial judge, and I manage pre-trial scheduling for the presiding district judge, I only set Daubert deadlines when the parties propose this as part of their proposed pre-trial schedule.

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?

A21: To some extent, in that I try to explain the process and the next steps in the litigation without offering legal advice.

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?

A22: I do not but I think the most helpful form for a statement of facts is a joint statement in which the agreed facts are set out with record citations, and the remaining facts are set out in a point-counterpoint arrangement with citations to relevant portions of the record.

Q29: Under what, if any, circumstances, would you allow the filing of post-argument briefs?

A29: I have not done this, but would allow it if an issue came up at the hearing and a party requested leave to further brief a point. I would set a schedule for a brief and a reply.

Civil - Patent Cases

Civil Mediation

Q35: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to conducting a mediation, please describe them here.

A35: Unless the parties tell me it would be helpful, I am reluctant to conduct a joint session at which the parties state their respective positions though counsel.

Q36: Do you require the party/parties to be present or available during a mediation?

A36: Yes, a party with decision making authority must be available by phone. I much prefer to have the party with decision-making authority to be present, but sometimes allow phone participation.

Criminal Matters

Q38: Typically, at what point, will you refer a criminal case back to the district judge?

A38: As soon as it is apparent there are no discovery disputes to be resolved.

Q39: Do you have any particular practices as to scheduling in criminal cases? If so, please describe them.

A39: I try to impress on counsel that the deadlines we are setting for discovery letters and motions are real deadlines.

General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

General Trial Practice - Scheduling Trials

Q54: What is your typical trial schedule?

A54: Respondent skipped this question.

General Trial Practice - Jury Selection

Q56: Please describe your jury selection process.

A56: I ask general questions of the entire venire, then question individual jurors on more sensitive matters at sidebar.

General Trial Practice - Trial Practices

Standing Orders & Miscellaneous Matters

Q71: Order #2

A71: Respondent skipped this question.

Q72: Order #3

A72: Respondent skipped this question.