The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Nita L. Stormes U.S. Magistrate Judge
NOTICE AND ORDER SETTING TELEPHONIC EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION CONFERENCE
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that a telephonic Early Neutral Evaluation of your case will be held on February 14, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. before Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes. Only counsel for the parties shall appear for the telephonic conference. Plaintiff's counsel shall initiate and coordinate the conference call.
The following are mandatory guidelines for the parties preparing for the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference.
1. Purpose of Conference: The purpose of the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference ("ENE") is to permit an informal discussion between the attorneys, parties, and the settlement judge of every aspect of the lawsuit in an effort to achieve an early resolution of the case. All conference discussions will be informal, off the record, privileged and confidential. Counsel for any non-English speaking parties is responsible for arranging for the appearance of an interpreter at the conference.
2. Confidential ENE Statements Required: No later than three (3) court days prior to the ENE, the parties shall submit confidential statements of five pages or less directly to the chambers of Magistrate Judge Stormes outlining the nature of the case, the claims, and the defenses. These statements shall not be filed or served on opposing counsel.
3. New Parties Must Be Notified by Plaintiff's Counsel: Plaintiff's counsel shall give notice of the ENE to parties responding to the complaint after the date of this notice.
4. Case Management Under the Amended Federal Rules: In the event the case does not settle at the ENE, the parties can expect to leave the ENE with Rule 26 compliance dates or deadlines. Parties shall therefore be prepared to discuss the following matters at the conclusion of the ENE conference:
a. Any anticipated objections under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(E) to the initial disclosure provisions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A-D);
b. The scheduling of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) conference within 24 days following the ENE:
c. The date of initial disclosure and the date for lodging the discovery plan within 14 days following the Rule 26(f) conference; and,
d. The scheduling of a Case Management Conference pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b) within 21 days following the Rule 26(f) conference.
The Court will issue an order following the ENE addressing these issues and setting dates as appropriate.
5. Requests to Continue an ENE Conference: Local Rule 16.1(c) requires that an ENE take place within 45 days of the filing of the first answer. Requests to continue ENEs are rarely granted. However, the Court will consider formal, written ex parte requests to continue an ENE conference when extraordinary circumstances exist that make a continuance appropriate. In and of itself, having to travel a long distance to appear in person is not "extraordinary." Absent extraordinary circumstances, requests for continuances will not be considered unless submitted in writing no less than seven (7) days prior to the scheduled conference.
Questions regarding this case or the mandatory guidelines set forth herein may be directed to the Magistrate ...