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Magistrate Judge S. Kate Vaughan Chambers

The Honorable S. Kate Vaughan
United States Courthouse
700 Stewart Street, Suite 12132
Seattle, WA 98101-9906

Chambers: (206) 370-8760
Courtroom Deputy: (206) 370-8420
Proposed Orders: vaughanorders@wawd.uscourts.gov

Biography

Courtroom Rules

The parties and counsel are encouraged to advise the Court of their pronouns and may do so by including their pronouns in signature lines or advising the in-court deputy clerk of pronouns and honorifics before a hearing begins, either via email or in person.

Mobile devices must be turned off before entering the courtroom.

Please provide advance notice when you intend to utilize the courtroom’s video displays or have other presentation technology questions.

The Court encourages parties and counsel to be mindful of opportunities for new lawyers (practicing less than seven years) to conduct hearings before the Court, especially where these lawyers drafted or significantly contributed to motions and responses. The Court is aware that having a new lawyer appear may not be appropriate or in the client’s best interest in all instances. Therefore, an experienced attorney may supplement a new lawyer’s arguments and witness examination questions with their own if necessary.

Consent to Magistrate Judge 

Amended General Order 02-10 in re Consent and Referral to Magistrate Judges

After parties consent to a Magistrate Judge, firm pretrial conference and trial dates will be set. After setting the trial date, Judge Vaughan will enter a Trial Management Order setting out the dates all pretrial documents are due. 

Case and Trial Management Templates

 

Name

Date added

1.    Case Management Order  12/23/2021
2.    Trial Management Order 12/23/2021
3.    Civil Jury Impanelment Procedures 12/23/2021
4.    Individualized Trial Program (LCR 39.2)  12/23/2021

Expedited Case Management through the Individualized Trial Program 

The Court encourages parties to consider agreeing to an Individualized Trial, which is a consensual, binding trial before a jury or a judge with limited discovery and limited rights to appeal. The Individualized Trial Program offers an abbreviated, efficient and cost-effective litigation and trial alternative. See LCR 39.2.  Recognizing that individualized trial procedures are most efficient when tailored to the specific needs of a case, the parties may propose modifications to the standard procedures, subject to the Court’s approval.  If the parties agree to participate in the Individualized Trial Program, the Court will set a case management conference to discuss the limits on discovery and the need for dispositive motions.  Trial will be held no later than six months after the Individualized Trial Agreement is approved by the Court.

Discovery Issues

Judge Vaughan strongly encourages parties to make every effort to resolve discovery disputes without the Court’s intervention. The Court strictly construes the meet and confer requirements. To the extent motions practice is necessary, Judge Vaughan encourages parties to take advantage of the expedited discovery dispute procedures described in Local Civil Rule 37(a)(2). This approach may resolve the dispute in an expedient manner and avoid the extra costs associated with motions practice. The moving party must make reasonable efforts to have all parties to the discovery dispute participate in contacting the Court to request a telephonic motion. See Local Civil Rule 7(i). Counsel may contact the Court’s deputy clerk, Stefanie Prather, by email at Stefanie_Prather@wawd.uscourts.gov or by telephone at (206) 370-8420 to arrange a telephone conference with the Court.

Motions Practice

Oral Argument

Judge Vaughan does not automatically schedule oral argument upon request. The parties will be contacted if, after reviewing the briefing, Judge Vaughan believes oral argument will be helpful in resolving the motion.

Courtesy Copies

Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, a paper copy of the following electronically filed documents (including the Notice of Electronic Filing) must be marked as a “JUDGE’S COPY” and delivered to the Clerk’s Office within three business days after the electronic filing: dispositive motions and motions for injunctive relief (including all related documents); Social Security administrative records; and any other documents (including all related documents) that, in the aggregate, are in excess of 50 pages.

Settlement Conference Procedures

When a case is referred for a judicial settlement conference before Judge Vaughan, the Court will promptly issue an Order setting the date and time for the settlement conference and outlining settlement procedures.  Settlement conferences may be in person or, based upon a joint request from the parties, via Zoom. 

Settlement Conference Scheduling Order

Pro Se Parties

Parties proceeding pro se (representing yourself without a lawyer) should refer to the Western District of Washington Pro Se Guide for helpful information. 

Pro Hac Vice

Both attorneys admitted pro hac vice and their Western District of Washington counsel should read and be familiar with the Court’s Local Rules and general litigation practices.

Externships

Judge Vaughan chairs the WDWA Summer Diversity Externship Program. The program is open to all 1L and 2L students at an accredited law school who seek a judicial externship as part of a law school judicial externship class. Exceptions to the externship class requirement will be considered on a case by case basis. This is a summer externship that starts between May 31, 2022 and June 13, 2022, depending on the students’ law school terms. The externship is an eight-week, full time program. The externship will be demanding, and externs should be hardworking, organized, honest, ethical, and committed to making the most of their summer to gain critical lawyering skills and habits. Preference is given to students who are underrepresented in the legal profession. Further information can be found here.