Judicial Preferences

Written correspondence from counsel to the court.
Judge Kane prefers that counsel communicate with the court through formal motion, except as noted below for discovery disputes.

Preference for the use of telephone conferences rather than in-person conferences for any category of conferences scheduled in connection with a case.
Preference for the use of telephone conferences rather than in-person conferences for any category of conferences scheduled in connection with a case.  Initial case management conferences will be conducted by telephone.  Thereafter, status and discovery conferences are by telephone in most cases.  Pretrial and settlement conferences are conducted in person.

Courtesy copies of motions, briefs, and other writings for chambers.
Courtesy copies are not required and should not be delivered to chambers.

Federal Rule 26 and M.D. Pa. Local Rule 26.1 et seq. (including your approach to initial disclosures, discovery prior to the Rule 16 conference) and preferences as to the matters encompassed within those Rules.
Judge Kane requires that discovery commence before the Rule 16 conference. Judge Kane’s standard case management order requires a telephone conference before the filing of formal discovery motions.

The extent to which counsel may influence the length of the discovery period, extensions, trial dates, etc.
Counsels’ opinions and requests are elicited at the case management conference and considered in establishing case deadlines. Thereafter, deadlines are expected to be followed unless modified by the court.

The average amount of time allowed for discovery in a standard track case and the extent to which the standard amount of time is varied.
Judge Kane allows four to six months in a typical standard track case.

Handling of confidentiality agreements, particularly in light of the Third Circuit’s recent opinions on the prerequisites for imposing confidentiality agreements.
Judge Kane adheres to the circuit rulings with regard to confidentiality in discovery matters. Judge Kane considers confidentiality of settlements individually.

Procedure for scheduling trials, including whether a date certain for trial is assigned; if so, the amount of time prior to trial that such a date certain is assigned; and the extent to which it may be moved during the month in which it has been scheduled.
Judge Kane will place cases on the trial calendar at the case management conference. They are scheduled for the first Monday of the month, with oldest matters tried first, and criminal matters tried before civil.

Trial briefs submitted by counsel.
Trial briefs are permitted if filed before the pre-trial conference.

Counsel participation in voir dire.
Voir dire is generally conducted by counsel in civil cases and by Judge Kane in criminal cases. Procedures may be modified by the court in individual cases.

Whether more than one attorney may handle trial for a party.
Judge Kane will allow more than one attorney to participate, but only one attorney may examine a witness.

Pre-marking of documentary and photographic exhibits and other demonstrative evidence for trial and the date upon which exchange of exhibits is to take place, if any.
Judge Kane requires that exhibits be pre-marked and exchanged before the pre-trial conference. A party offering more than 15 written exhibits must provide the court with two copies of his or her exhibits in three-ring binders.

Practice for the receipt of proposed jury instructions, including the form of jury instruction, and any divergence from the number of jury instructions permitted by the Middle District local rules.
Judge Kane does not deviate from the local rule. Judge Kane requires that a party submit instructions before trial.

Written verdict forms (in the form of interrogatory questions) to the jury.
Judge Kane submits written verdict forms to the jury, and counsel’s proposed verdict forms are considered in their preparation.

General approach to settlement and non-jury cases and use of magistrate judges.
Settlement discussions are invited but not required as early as the case management conference. The magistrate judge assists Judge Kane with settlement conferences. Additionally, some cases are referred to court-appointed mediators.