Judge David H. Hennessy

Born 1955 in White Plains, NY

Federal Judicial Service

Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. Chief Magistrate Judge, 2017-2020.

First appointed to the Court May 6, 2013.


State University of New York, B.A., 1978
Fordham University School of Law, JD., 1985


Worcester Courthouse

Harold D. Donohue Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
595 Main Street
Worcester, Massachusetts 01608


Courtroom 1

Harold D. Donohue Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse - Worcester, MA
Harold D. Donohue Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse - Worcester, 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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Courtroom Clerk Dawn King 508-929-9905 dawn_king@mad.uscourts.gov
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 interest in the court sponsored mediation program at every conference with the parties.

Q5: What, if any inquiries do you make about the liklihood of trial at the initial scheduling conference?

A5: I typically do not set a trial date at the initial scheduling conference.

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

A9: Status of discovery, mediation, trial schedule.

Civil - Discovery

Q17: Please describe your general practice regarding the resolution of disovery motions.

A17: Following submission of briefs, I will determine whether the motion requires a hearing.

Q19: Do you have any particular practices or requirements about expert disclosures?

A19: The expert discovery schedule is set forth in the initial scheduling order.

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: A date for the parties' experts to be designated and deposed. I do not set a schedule for the filing of Daubert motions at the initial scheduling conference.

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: I am more likely to hold hearings on motions rather than rule on the papers. I will also generate written orders rather than electronic orders.

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 prefer that the statement of material facts accompanying a motion for summary judgment be filed as a separate document with each fact numbered separately.

Q24: Do you typically allow reply briefs and/or surreply briefs?

A24: Only upon motion by the party and only when necessary to address specific points in the response.

Q28: If you typically hold hearings on dispositive motions, what, if any, time limits do you impose on counsel for their arguments?

A28: I do not impose time limits but I expect the parties to be mindful of the court's time in preparing their arguments.

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

A29: If needed to address a previously undiscussed issue raised in the hearing.

Civil - Patent Cases

Civil Mediation

Q33: If you have any particular practices or preferences in regard to submissions before a mediation, please describe them.

A33: I require confidential mediation statements from the parties five business days prior to a mediation. The statement should be no more than four pages, and address with candor the following points: 1. A brief analysis of the key issues involved in the litigation, including a specific breakdown of the claimed damages. 2. A description of the strongest and weakest legal and factual points in the party's case. 3. A description of the strongest and weakest legal and factual points in the opponent's case. 4. The status of settlement negotiations, including the last settlement proposal made by each side. In this regard, counsel are directed to confer with their clients in advance of the mediation conference to explore the party’s settlement position, and the parties are encouraged to exchange settlement proposals prior to the conference. 5. The settlement proposal that the party believes would be fair.

Q34: Do you have a standard pre-mediation order for the parties? If so, please attach it here.

A34: Counsel are directed to be present with their respective clients or representatives thereof without limitation on their authority to negotiate and commit to settlement terms that, in their discretion, may be acceptable. It shall be understood that all parties and counsel will participate in the conference in good faith and with the interest of settling the matter on mutually acceptable terms. It shall also be understood that all parties, counsel, and other persons who participate will keep confidential all communications exchanged during the conference.

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

A35: I typically do not invite opening statements. I meet with the parties separately and will not discuss those private statements unless authorized.

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

A36: A party with decision making authority must be present. Any deviations from that requirement must be requested well in advance of the mediation.

Criminal Matters

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?

A37: Parties' estimate of when case can be transferred to the District Judge. Any requirements for trial or plea (i.e. interpreters/ digital equipment). Parties' position on speedy trial.

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

A39: I allow parties to appear for status conferences by phone. I cancel status conferences if the parties submit a joint memo that addresses the Local Rule and they agree on excluding the time.

General Trial Practice - Pretrial Matters

Q40: Do you require the filing of a trial brief?

A40: Respondent skipped this question.

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

A52: Yes. Agreed upon exhibits marked sequentially by number. Exhibits not agreed upon, marked for identification alphabetically.

General Trial Practice - Scheduling Trials

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

A53: At a status conference following discovery.

Q54: What is your typical trial schedule?

A54: Monday through Friday 9-1.

General Trial Practice - Jury Selection

Q56: Please describe your jury selection process.

A56: Respondent skipped this question.

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.