R&R objections can be a minefield for attorneys. First, the governing rules are fairly stringent, and are set forth in multiple places (including Local Rule 72.1 and a separate standing order). Second, I think it's fair to say that most judges are not eager to have to review another judge's work and potentially reverse it if they don't have to, so the rules for objections tend to be enforced.
Here are some examples of things that parties sometimes miss. The objecting party must:
- "[S]pecify the portions of the findings and recommendations to which objection is made and the basis for each objection, . . . supported by legal authority."
- Include a certification stating that "the objections do not raise new legal/factual arguments" or identifying good cause for new legal/factual arguments.
- Set forth its objections in a single, 10-page opening brief with no reply brief, and the page limit is generally strictly enforced.
- File courtesy copies of "of all filings (e.g., motions, briefs, appendices) associated with the matter to which the R&R"—this can be easy to miss, and can result in waiver.
- Identify the exact standard of review.
That last one, identifying the standard of review, is easier said than done. The standard of review for R&R objections can be tricky, because ...