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In the Eastern District of Texas the single most important rule to be aware of is that a personal
conferenceis required before most motions may be filed.1(In most United States District Courts,
such a requirement exists only for discovery motions.) Local Rule 7(h) sets forth specific
matters that must be discussed. Requirements differ for discovery and non-discovery motions.
Participants must conduct the conference in good faith defined as: ͞honesty in one͛s purpose
to discuss meaningfully the dispute, freedom from intention to defraud or abuse the discovery
process, and faithfulness to one͛s obligation to secure information without court intervention.͟
With respect to discovery motions, the conference must be between the lead trial counsel and
any local counsel for the movant, and the lead trial counsel and any local counsel for the non-
movant.Attorneys who do not confer in good faith are subject to disciplinary action. E.D. Tex.
Civ. P. 7(h). All motions subject to the conference requirement must be accompanied by a
certificate at the end of the motion following the certificate of service. Local Rule 7(i) sets forth
very specific requirements for the contents of the certificate. E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 7(i).

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Like most United States District Courts, the Eastern District of Texas requires electronic filing for
most cases. E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 5(a).If filed electronically, motions, responses, replies and
proposed orders must be submitted in ͞searchable PDF͟ format. All other documents, including
attachments andexhibits must be in "searchable PDF" form wherever possible.E.D. Tex. Civ. P.
7(a).

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Among others, motions to dismiss, for judgment on the pleadings or for summary judgment
are exempt from the conference requirement, as are pro se litigants (prisoner or non-prisoner).
E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 7(i).
      

   
‰nce you get past the conference and certificate requirements, you find that motion briefing in
the Eastern District of Texas is unusual in 2 ways. First,sur-replies are specifically permitted.
E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 7(f).(In most jurisdictions, sur-repliesmight be permitted if special permission is
requested; in many they are specifically prohibited.) Second, 3 days are added to the time
allowed to file response, reply and sur-reply papers, regardless of the manner of service. E.D.
Tex. Civ. P. 6. Thus, a party opposing a motion has a total of 17 days from the date the motion
was served to file a response (14 pursuant to Local Rule 7, and 3 pursuant to Local Rule 6), after
which the court will consider the submitted motion for decision.E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 7(e); E.D. Tex.
Civ. P. 6.The moving party may file a reply within 10 days after service of the response, and the
opposing party may file a sur-reply within 10 days after service of the reply. E.D. Tex. Civ. P.
7(f);E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 6.

 




 


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As is the case in many United States District Courts, in the Eastern District of Texas there are
different page limits depending on whether your motion is dispositive or non-dispositive. The
page limit for a dispositive motionsand responses to dispositive motions is 30 pages, 10 pages
for replies and sur-replies (excluding attachments). E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 7(a)(1). An unusual feature
of the Eastern District of Texasis that there is a total page limit applicable to multiple summary
judgment motions. A party cannot file more than 60 pages of summary judgment motions, 60
pages of response to summary judgment motions, or 20 pages of replies or sur-replies to
summary judgment motions. E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 7(a)(1).The limit for non-dispositive motions and
responses is 15 pages, 5 pages for replies and sur-replies (excluding attachments). E.D. Tex. Civ.
P. 7(a)(2).

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Another particular requirement in the Eastern District of Texas is that every motion and
response be accompanied by a proposed order in searchable and editable PDF format for the
judge's signature. The proposed order must include the style and number of the cause, and
must not include a date or signature block. E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 7(a).E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 7(d).

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If you desire a hearing on a matter, you, (or opposing counsel) may request one, it will be
allowed only in the presiding judge's discretion. E.D. Tex. Civ. P. 7(g).

For more detailed information about specific types of motions in the Easter District of Texas visit the
Eastern District of TexasSmartRules Guides.
   
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