IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT - DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA

Friday, February 9, 2007

Members of the Bar:

The U.S. District Court Clerk's Office wishes to bring several important matters to your attention.

Chief Judge Bataillon announced that Senior Judge Thomas M. Shanahan announced his retirement to inactive status effective February 1. Judge Shanahan has served as a distinguished judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska for over 13 years. In addition, he served on the Nebraska Supreme Court for ten years. We will miss Judge Shanahan's calm demeanor and sense of humor. We wish him all the best.

On January 26, 2007, the Nebraska Judicial Council:

A. Adopted the Federal Practice Committee and Civil Justice Advisory Group's recommendation to use a supplemental Jury Questionnaire, commencing in April 2007, in all civil and criminal jury trial proceedings in the United States District Court for the Nebraska. (To view the supplemental Jury Questionnaire, go to our forms page at http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/forms/) The clerk's office will distribute copies of completed questionnaires to attorneys of record at the same time it distributes the panel report, which is approximately two business days prior to trial. Attorneys may pick copies up at the clerk's office or request that the clerk's office fax the questionnaires to their office. The clerk's office will not e-mail completed questionnaires. Attorneys are required to destroy the questionnaires after trial. Any attorney who fails to destroy the questionnaires will be subject to disciplinary action.

B. Approved the Consistency Committee's recommendation to create a Web page to post judges' practices and standing recusals. The Web page is available at http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/jpar/.

C. Approved the proposed amendments to the Local Rules. The amendments, along with a summary of the amendments, are available on our Web site at http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/localrules/index.html. To comment on the amended rules, go to http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/emailus/index.html.

D. Approved the clerk's office request to destroy paper documents filed on or after January 29, 2007, thirty days after they have been scanned, verified, and subjected to quality control, unless otherwise ordered, in accordance with the Administrative Office's disposition schedule for CM/ECF records. The Council directed the clerk's office that it is no longer required to maintain the following paper documents: 1) original indictments; 2) plea agreements; and 3) petitions to enter pleas of guilty. The court's Administrative Procedures will be amended in the near future to reflect this change.

E. Adopted a General Order requiring attorneys to open their own civil cases on CM/ECF after July 2, 2007. The Council directed the clerk's office to; 1) disable the "New Cases" e-mail address; and 2) make the appropriate changes to the court's Administrative Procedures.

F. Because judges do not electronically sign a PDF document when entering text-only orders, the clerk's office changed the language in text-only orders from "Signed by Judge (name) on **/**/** to "Ordered by Judge (name) on **/**/**." The ordered date may be different from the entered date. The entered date appears on the top of notices of electronic filing as the date the system received the transaction.

G. The clerk's office has streamlined the Request for Transcript and Notice of Appeal forms. Please use the new forms, which are located on our forms page at http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/forms/.

H. Users have reported problems with pay.gov when using IE 7. If you experience any problems with pay.gov, go to Internet Options->Advanced Tab->check "Disable Phishing Filer,"-> uncheck "Warn About Certificate Mismatch,"-> uncheck "Warn if changing between secure and not secure mode." If you do not want to make these changes, we recommend that you install Mozilla Firefox as your browser.

I. If you have not already done so, please complete the 2007 Assessment Form and return it with your $10.00 payment by March 1, 2007 to; Clerk, United States District Court, 2007 Annual Assessment, 111 S. 18th Plaza, Suite 1152, Omaha, NE 68102. Blank forms are available on our forms page at http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/forms/.

Thank you,
United States District Court Clerk's Office