- To avoid potential conflicts of interest, the Nebraska Judicial Council agreed that all cases filed on the Omaha and North Platte dockets subsequent to November 2, 2007, in which Berkshire Hathaway or one of its subsidiaries is a party shall be directly assigned to Senior United States District Judge Lyle E. Strom for full pretrial management and trial. See http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/pom/orders/index.html > General Order 2007-19.
- Effective November 1, 2007, the Nebraska Judicial Council has approved an increase in transcript fee rates and added a new rate for the delivery of transcripts within14 days. See http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/pom/crtplans/courtrep.pdf > "Court Reporting Fee Schedule."
Judicial Council Decisions. On October 26, 2007, the Nebraska Judicial Council:
- Adopted the following strategic goals: 1) By January 25, 2008, we will have a strategic plan in place to upgrade or replace all Omaha, Lincoln, and North Platte courtroom technology equipment; and 2) By January 25, 2008, we will have a strategic plan in place to assess, develop, and deliver courtroom technology training for internal and external stakeholders on all existing and newly-defined courtroom technology equipment. The goal statements are located on the court's Strategic Planning Internet site at http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/stratplan/, along with Web pages to track the progress of each new goal. (Note: The last page of the goal summary document includes a link to the July 31, 2007, strategic planning participant guide and notes. The notes from the session are located on pages 9-16, and the goals are summarized on pages 17-21.)
- Approved the clerk's request to issue magistrate numbers through the CM/ECF system. Original search warrant applications and affidavits, criminal complaints, and other magistrate-executed papers will be submitted to the clerk's office once the judge has signed them. Upon receipt, the clerk will open the magistrate case under seal on CM/ECF and file the paperwork. A PDF of the originals will be uploaded to CM/ECF, and the originals will be destroyed after the clerk's office holds them for 30 days to ensure quality control of the scanning. The clerk's office will scan and upload all warrants issued as sealed documents. Clerk's office staff will file warrants issued as copies under seal and will refer requests for copies of warrants to the U.S. Marshal pursuant to Nebraska Criminal Rule 9.1.
- Approved the clerk's request to sign, seal, and issue criminal warrants, summonses, and subpoenas electronically and adopted General Order 2007-18. See http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/pom/orders/index.html.
- Approved the Docket and Local Rules Committee's recommendation to adopt amendments to the local rules, and recommended to the Docket and Local Rules Committee that it consider the comments received from the Federal Practice Committee's local rules survey during its next annual review of the rules. Attorneys are invited to comment on the proposed amendments to the local rules. See http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/localrules/. Comments are due November 29, 2007.
- Jury Trial at UN-L Law College. Eighth Circuit Judge William Riley will try a civil case at the University of Nebraska College of Law in Lincoln on January 22, 2008. The cases that may be tried are listed in General Order No. 2007-17. See http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/pom/orders/index.html.
- Changes in EPA Fee Schedule. The Judicial Conference of the United States has amended the Electronic Public Access fee schedule to include court-appointed pro bono attorneys among those individuals who may, upon a showing of cause, be exempted from electronic public access fees when acting in the matter to which they were appointed. The amended schedule is available on the court's Web site at http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/info/fees.html. A link to the National Archives and Records Administration Fee Schedule is also available at the same site.
- Document Size Limit in CM/ECF Increased. The district court has increased the document size limit in CM/ECF from 3 megabytes to 5 megabytes. Information on how to file lengthy attachments in CM/ECF is available on the court's Web site at http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/cmecf/ > "Filing Lengthy Attachments."
- New Local Reports in CM/ECF. In response to attorney requests for a list of cause codes in the CM/ECF report option, the court now offers a "Cause Code List" and a "Nature of Suit List." To access the lists, log into ECF, click "Reports" on the blue menu bar, then click "Local Reports."
- Opening Cases in CM/ECF: Not Adding Counsel of Record. To prevent the entry of inaccurate or incomplete information when opening a civil case in CM/ECF, attorneys for plaintiffs are asked not to add counsel of record for any defendants when adding parties. The only exception to this procedure will be when the filing attorney is removing the case from state court; in this instance, the filing attorney may add counsel for the opposing party.
- New Civil CM/ECF Event. A new event entitled "Motion to Incur Expenses from Federal Practice Fund" has been created.
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If you have any questions about these matters, please contact the clerk's office, 402-661-7350 (Omaha) or 402-437-5225 (Lincoln).
United States District Court Clerk's Office