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Judge Nuffer Chambers

District Judge David Nuffer

Chambers Directory

206 West Tabernacle Street
St. George UT 84770 

Notice

Judge Nuffer now resides in Washington County and is currently assigned all civil and criminal cases in the Southern Region of the Central Division of the District of Utah.  See information on the St George Courthouse. 

Journalists who desire to use electronic devices in the courtroom should use this form.

Contact Information

Chambers Directory

E-mail:  dj.nuffer@utd.uscourts.gov(link sends e-mail).  Our goal is same-day response. Please include case name and number in the email subject line, and show a copy sent simultaneously to all counsel.  Find lawyers' e-mail addresses at the Utah Bar(link is external) or Lawyers.com(link is external) or using the Mailing Info For a Case Utility in CM/ECF.

Telephone:(435) 703-7310 St. George                    Telephone:(801) 524-6150 Salt Lake City  

We do our best to cover the phone from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. but may be in court.  All counsel should conference together before calling the court.  Please help us avoid ex parte contact.

We do not accept material via fax. Please scan, OCR and email to dj.nuffer@utd.uscourts.gov(link sends e-mail).

Courtroom

Our regular courtroom in St. George is 2B on the west end of the second floor.  For hearings set in Salt Lake City, be sure to check the daily court calendar.

Courtesy Copies

We generally do not need courtesy copies.  Electronic filers under CM/ECF can be assured that chambers receives the Notice of Electronic Filing for all documents and retrieves documents filed and served in that manner within 24-48 hours of filing. If you feel a courtesy copy would help chambers, such as large exhibits or binders with tabs please deliver one.  While the local court rule suggests that all courtesy copies should be delivered through the clerk's office, there are frequently delays in delivery of such courtesy copies.

E-mail any document filed in paper (including all conventionally filed documents) to dj.nuffer@utd.uscourts.gov(link sends e-mail). 

Suggestions for Writing

Judge Nuffer's chambers staff all read materials in electronic format, so his Suggestions for Accessible Documents (and the related PowerPoint Creating Accessible Documents) are very important. He also follows the recommendations of Bryan Garner for improved legal writing style (pdf document) by putting citations in footnotes and eliminating substantive footnotes. Also, please see Judge Nuffer's materials on Effective Legal Writing.

Civil Motions

Judge Nuffer adopts the Short Form Discovery Motion procedure in all his cases. If such a motion is filed in a case not yet referred to a magistrate judge, the case will be referred immediately.

Some civil motions will be decided without hearing, unless they are clearly case-dispositive or there is some extraordinary deficiency in the papers submitted.  At times, a  request for further information will issue, with or without a notice of hearing, to ensure the record is complete.  Emailed courtesy copies of sealed motion papers are greatly appreciated.  

If expedited treatment of a motion is desired, counsel should secure consent of counsel to an expedited schedule or move for an expedited schedule, submitting a proposed order for expedited treatment.  Orders for Expedited Treatment of Motion Sample 1   Sample 2   

In CM/ECF, be sure to specify that the motion seeks to Expedite, as well as seeks the relief sought.  (Control-click to select all applicable types of relief.)

Description:

Please contact the Case Manager at (435) 703-7310 regarding emergency motions.  The Case Manager will often direct that all counsel join in a telephone conference at a specified time, and may direct that an e-mail summary be provided.

Motions Ready for Decision

We make every effort to track motions and attend to them when the prescribed periods of briefing have elapsed.  We may, however, err in tracking time periods, so please e-mail us if you are concerned about a possible oversight.  If parties agree to extend time for briefing, please notify the court.  And if no response or reply memorandum will be filed, a notice to that effect is appreciated.  

Hearings on Motions

Judge Nuffer is usually prepared to pose specific questions to counsel at motion hearings, so counsel should not prepare for conventional argument or repeat contents of memoranda.

PowerPoint presentations are usually disfavored because they are pre-determined and linear.  If a PowerPoint presentation is proposed, please bring two paper printouts of the slides for the Judge and law clerk to review and evaluate before the hearing and an electronic copy.  Please email pdf copies of exhibits which will be used at the hearing at least one full business day before the hearing, or bring bring two courtesy copies, one for the Judge and one for the law clerk.

Please review the suggestions in the PowerPoint document and PDF document entitled "Using Technology to Convince -- and Not Distract -- a Judge and Jury" and the PDF document "Creating the Best Transcript Possible" found on Judge Nuffer's Resources Page

Judge Nuffer's courtroom has a full featured evidence presentation system with audio and video conferencing and wireless internet access. 

Telephone and video hearings are available to avoid expense. Requests to appear by telephone must be made by motion filed at least two business days before the scheduled hearing. Arrangements for video hearings must be made well in advance by calling the Case Manager at (435) 701-7310. Please consult the suggestions for "Creating the Best Transcript Possible"; found on Judge Nuffer's Resources Page.

Everyone that attends hearings, including counsel, parties and general public, are welcome to bring bottled water into the courtroom. Counsel may bring coffee as well, and water is provided at counsel tables. Soda or food are not permitted in the courtroom without permission of the judge. Soda, coffee and food are permitted in the attorney meeting rooms near the courtroom.

Junior members of legal teams representing clients are invited to argue motions they have helped prepare. Opportunities to train young attorneys in oral advocacy are rare because of the decline of trials. Where junior lawyers are familiar with the matter under consideration, but have little experience arguing before a court, they should be encouraged to argue by senior counsel. The ultimate decision of who speaks on behalf of the client is for the lawyer in charge of the case.  If a junior lawyer is prepared to argue a motion, a Notice to that effect should be filed to ensure that argument is set.
 

Changing Hearing Dates

Modifications to any hearing date which are stipulated, may be requested by joint filing or e mail to dj.nuffer@utd.uscourts.gov or by phone call with all counsel on the phone, calling the Case Manager at (435) 701-7310.  Other modifications to hearing dates should be requested by motion.

Motions to Continue Criminal Trials

A motion to continue trial must comply with DUCrimR 12-1(1), stating "the specific reasons, supported by facts, for the continuance and the why the act or event cannot be completed or occur within the time originally allotted" including additional specific facts required by DUCrimR 12-1(1)(1)(E)(i)-(v). The Court's standard form for the motion must be filed with a PDF copy of the proposed order, using the Court's standard form. A Word format copy of the proposed order must be emailed to dj.nuffer@utd.uscourts.gov.

Accelerating Sentencing Hearings; Pre Sentence Reports

Requests for a sentence hearing without a presentence report or an accelerated report should generally be made by written motion, with a clear statement of reasons.

Counsel sometimes request a plea and sentence hearing, or an accelerated sentence hearing close to the time of a plea. Presentence reports have considerable value to the court and to the defendant. They travel with the defendant through the Bureau of Prisons experience and afterward in formulating treatment and evaluating progress on release.

A sentence hearing without a presentence report may result in a sentence that is hard to defend under 18 USC 3553(a). The judge cannot take the guidelines into account if they are not known at sentence. In at least one instance, a presentence report gave a guideline range over two times greater than the range the parties assumed in setting their 11(c)(1)(C). The sentence hearing record obviously did not reflect “the sentencing range established for the applicable category of offense committed by the applicable category of defendant as set forth in the guidelines.” 18 USC 3553(a)(4)(A).

Accelerating a presentence report has consequences as well. Accelerating a report does not allow enough time to complete a thorough investigation. Scheduling and completing interviews quickly can be impossible, or at least challenging. Requesting and receiving verification of information, especially on past crimes, family and health history, and drug abuse and treatment takes time. Moving one defendant to the top of the list can be disruptive for the presentence writer, causing a need to reschedule interviews and other tasks, and in effect pushes other defendants’ reports further back in the line.

Unrelated to the merits of a case, another consequence of a post-sentence or accelerated presentence report is that the probation office gets significantly less “workload” credit. Workload credit determines their staffing. So, oddly, these reports have the effect of cutting staff in the probation office. While unrelated to the merits of the specific case, we all want a fully staffed probation office for our caseload.

Sentencing Hearings

When the CARES Act provisions allowing video sentencing expire, criminal defendants must be present in court for their sentencing hearings. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 43(a)(3); United States v. Zander, 705 Fed. App'x 707 (10th Cir. 2017); United States v. Torres-Palma, 290 F.3d 1244 (10th Cir. 2002)). A defendant's presence by via video conference will not be permitted.  Counsel may, well in advance of a hearing, request that travel expenses for an indigent defendant be paid under 18 U.S.C. § 4285. Click here for a form order.

Proposed Orders

Proposed orders should be submitted in a word processing format to dj.nuffer@utd.uscourts.gov. The proposed order will be submitted at the time a motion is filed (when a .pdf copy of the order is attached to the motion -- see Administrative Procedures II. G.), or after a hearing on a motion after complying with DUCivR-54-1 or DUCrimR 12(f).  If the order is being submitted after a hearing use these instructions to e-file a .pdf copy for the record in CM/ECF.
We prefer Microsoft Word format. Proposed orders should not be submitted to this email box in .pdf format.  
If objections to the proposed order are still unresolved, the party objecting should file the objections with a copy of that party's proposed revision of the order in .pdf format, and email that party's proposed revision of the order in word processing format.  All e-mails to the court must be copied to all counsel.

This Word template will result in an order in the form preferred by our chambers. The proposed order must refer to the docket entry number(s) for the motion(s) resolved, and should be in a form similar to these sample orders:  

Motion to Dismiss Order
Remand Order
Summary Judgment Order
Orders for Expedited Treatment of Motion  Sample 1   Sample 2   
Order Granting Motion to Amend  
Order Caption Document  
E-filing Proposed Orders without Motions

If you have any problem downloading these documents, try right clicking on the link and then "Save Target as."

Signature Line

BY THE COURT:

___________________________
David Nuffer
United States District Judge

Southern Region Forms

Trial Information and Forms

Junior members of legal teams representing clients are invited to question witnesses they have helped prepare. Opportunities to train young attorneys in oral advocacy are rare because of the decline of trials. Where junior lawyers are familiar with the matter under consideration, but have little experience questioning a witness, they should be encouraged by senior counsel. The junior lawyer will also be responsible for objections and follow up examination for that witness. The ultimate decision of who questions a witness is for the lawyer in charge of the case.
 

Criminal Trial Order   Criminal Juror Questionnaire  Optional Supplemental Criminal Juror Questionnaire   Standard Criminal Jury Instructions
Civil Jury Trial Order    Civil Bench Trial Order  Civil Advance Juror Questionnaire  Civil Juror Questionnaire  Sample Optional Juror Questionnaire   Standard Civil Jury Instructions
Final Instruction to Jurors at Discharge - Civil and Criminal Cases

Jury Selection Procedures    Jury Courtroom Seating Chart     Juror Contact Order   Stipulation to Selection of Jury From Southern Region Jury Pool

Deposition Designation Form   Sample Deposition Designation ver 1   Sample Deposition Designation ver 2

Closing Argument Pointers

Professionalism and Civility

Attorneys are encouraged to subscribe to and observe the Utah Standards of Professionalism and Civility.

Employment

Judge Nuffer's staff includes one career and two term law clerks. Position openings are posted on the court's website.

We welcome intern assistance at all times of the year. We have enjoyed full time or part time intern assistance. We limit intern positions to students who have completed their second year of law school. Please submit a letter, resume and writing sample to dj.nuffer@utd.uscourts.gov

Updated 04/01/2020

Resources - FAQ, CLE, Technology, etc.

CLE Materials, Technology and Q&A

Old Information (use at your risk!!)

 

Substantive

 Technology

Procedural

 CLE Materials Archive

Liberty Player for Court Audio

Questions and Answers about Magistrate Judges 

Civil Motion Referral and Unreferral

Who Hears the Motion?  This flow chart may reduce confusion about which judge will hear a motion when a district judge refers parts of a case to a magistrate judge.

 

Technology

Liberty Player for Court Audio

The record in proceedings before Judge Nuffer in St. George and before magistrate judges in Utah is recorded on equipment using the Liberty Recorder. If you receive one of these audio files, you must play it using the free Liberty Player available at http://www.libertyrecording.com/Player_main.html. These audio files may only be used for informal purposes, such as preparation of orders based on bench rulings. For any official purpose, including objections or appeals, you must obtain an official transcript. The fees for audio recordings and official transcripts are set by law.

Continuing Legal Education Materials

Understanding Trauma PPT Handout

Judge Nuffer Sentencing Hints (November 2018)

Certification of Legal Questions to the Utah Supreme Court   Thesis   Powerpoint Slides (October 2018) Duke Law School Web Library

Handling the Federal Civil Case from Start to Finish (May 2018)

The Southern Region (March 2018)

Document Retention and Destruction (November 2014)
Cloud Technology and Lawyers (November 2014)

Avoiding Pitfalls in Written Advocacy (pdf)
Avoiding Pitfalls in Written Advocacy (pptx)

The Future of the Fourth Amendment (ppt)

Making Tablet Friendly e-Filings (pdf)
Making Tablet Friendly e-Filings (pptx)

Effective Legal Writing (pdf)
Suggestions for Accessible Documents (pdf) 
Creating Accessible Documents (5 mb ppt)
Best Practices in PDF Reading and Annotation (pdf)

Using Technology to Convince -- and Not Distract -- a Judge and Jury 
    (handout pdf 88kb)   (ppt 7 mb)

Creating the Best Transcript Possible (2012) (PDF)

The E-Brief Quiz for Printing (2011) (PDF)

A Practical Guide to E-Discovery (2011) (PDF)
    The Evolution of Discoverable Information

Making a Clawback Agreement Effective Against Third Parties (January 2009)

Presentations at St. George Utah Federal Bar Association (September 2008)
     Utah Fifth District Courthouse     The Oddfellows Building      Salt Lake City Courthouse and Court Programs

Working Smart in the CM/ECF World (April 2008)

E-Ethics (April 2008) 

E-Ethics (December 2007) PDF

E-Ethics (June 2007) (PDF)

Lay Participation in Criminal Justice (March 2007 - Kharkiv, Ukraine)

15 Tips in 15 Minutes (November 2006) (PDF - 2 MB)

How E-filers Can Make Chambers Happy (October 2006) (PDF - 1.6 MB)

Practice Hints for Motions to Compel (last updated July 20, 2005)    WordPerfect   PDF

Provisions of Federal and Local District of Utah Rules Regarding Motions to Compel (last updated 2005)  WordPerfect   PDF

An Introduction to CM/ECF (last updated February 2005)(5 MB ppt)

Proposed Rules and New Practice Standards for Electronic Discovery (last updated October 2004)  Word  PDF

Electronic Discovery (last updated March 2004)  Word  PDF

 

Old Information (use at your own risk!!)

Hyperlinks and E-Research 

Redaction and Metadata

PDF Exhibit Stamps in Adobe Acrobat

Liberty Player for Court Audio

Multiple Monitor / Large Monitor Computer Systems   How to get a large virtual desktop. 

Useful Computer Skills in the CM/ECF Environment Settings and skills  for Windows, Lotus Notes, Acrobat, Westlaw and CM/ECF that are useful with the CM/ECF

 

Hyperlinks and E-Research  

Learn all about Cross-Document Hyperlinks in CM/ECF that let your court papers refer to other court papers in the CM/ECF docket.  When the judge reads a memorandum reference to a declaration or deposition, a cross-document hyperlink in the memorandum can take the judge to that declaration or deposition.  

The hyperlink, as set by the filer, may link to the start of the document or to a specific page in the document. A filer can file a document that includes a hyperlink to a document that is being filed simultaneously (in the same docketing transaction) with the primary document (e.g., a Memo in Support of Summary Judgment may have hyperlinks to the attached documents that are part of the same docketing transaction).

Include hyperlinks to authorities cited in your memoranda by using WestInsertLinks (link is external) part of West Drafting Assistant (link is external) or Link to Cites (link is external) in Lexis for Microsoft Office (link is external). See a sample document with hyperlinks.  Another sample.  Another sample with a table of contents.  Sample document with Lexis links.   Click on a link in the sample documents to see how hyperlinks make it easy to find cases, statutes and rules.  

The Lexis tool to create research hyperlinks for Microsoft Word or WordPerfect is free.  West Brief Tools is a free download, but usage to create links incurs charges. The person clicking links from a document to view cited authorities incurs Westlaw or Lexis charges.  The court has Westlaw and Lexis access.  An April 2006 survey of judges' chambers indicates both are used, but Westlaw use is predominant.

Social Security Administrative Electronic Records (eCARs) have helpful internal hyperlinks. Learn more...

PDF Exhibit Stamps in Adobe Acrobat

PDF Exhibit Stamps in Adobe Acrobat   This feature allows the application of numbered or lettered exhibit stamps to existing PDF documents.

Redaction and Metadata 

 

Please send suggestions, corrections, etc. to dj.nuffer@utd.uscourts.gov (link sends e-mail)

Rev. 1/30/19

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