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Bray v. Lowe's Companies


January 10, 2008


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barbara L. Major United States Magistrate Judge


On January 2, 2008, parties to the above matter submitted a joint motion to continue expert disclosure dates. Doc. No. 30. The Court responded in part to this order on January 7, 2008. Doc. No. 32. After speaking with the parties at a January 10, 2008 Case Management Conference, the Court finds it appropriate to further grant the parties' motion as follows.

1. All expert disclosures required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(2), that were previously required to be served by January 25, 2008, shall be served on all parties on or before February 22, 2008. Any contradictory or rebuttal information, previously required to be disclosed by February 8, 2008, shall be disclosed on or before March 7, 2008. In addition, Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(e)(1) imposes a duty on the parties to supplement the expert disclosures made pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(2)(B) by the time that pretrial disclosures are due under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(3) (discussed below).

The parties are advised to consult with Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(2) regarding expert disclosures. Such disclosures shall include an expert report, all supporting materials, a complete statement of all opinions to be expressed and the basis and reasons therefor, the data or other information considered by the expert in forming the opinions, any exhibits to be used as a summary of or as support for the opinions, the qualifications of the witness including a list of all publications authored by the witness within the preceding ten years, the compensation to be paid for the study and testimony, and a list of other cases in which the witness has testified as an expert at trial or by deposition within the preceding four years.

This disclosure requirement applies to all persons retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony, or whose duties as an employee of the party regularly involve the giving of expert testimony.

Please be advised that failure to comply with this section or any other discovery order of the Court may result in the sanctions provided for in Fed. R. Civ. P. 37, including a prohibition on the introduction of experts or other designated matters in evidence.

2. All discovery, previously required to be completed by March 7, 2008, shall be completed by all parties on or before April 18, 2008. "Completed" means that all discovery under Rules 30-36 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and discovery subpoenas under Rule 45, must be initiated a sufficient period of time in advance of the cut-off date, so that it may be completed by the cut-off date, taking into account the times for service, notice, and response as set forth in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Counsel shall promptly and in good faith meet and confer with regard to all discovery disputes in compliance with Civil Local Rules 16.5(k) and 26.1(a). All discovery motions shall be filed within thirty (30) days after counsel have met and conferred and reached an impasse with regard to any particular discovery issue, but in no event shall discovery motions be filed more than sixty (60) days after the date upon which the event giving rise to the discovery dispute occurred. For oral discovery, the event giving rise to the discovery dispute is the completion of the transcript of the affected portion of the deposition. For written discovery, the event giving rise to the discovery dispute is either the service of the response, or, if no response was served, the initial date the response was due. In addition, all discovery motions must be filed within thirty (30) days after the close of discovery.

3. The Mandatory Settlement Conference, previously scheduled for January 24, 2008, is continued to February 29, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. in the chambers of Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major located at 940 Front Street, Suite 5140, San Diego, CA 92101. All discussions at the Mandatory Settlement Conference will be informal, off the record, privileged, and confidential. Counsel for any non-English speaking party is responsible for arranging for the appearance of an interpreter at the conference.

a. Personal Appearance of Parties Required

All parties, adjusters for insured defendants, and other representatives of a party having full and complete authority to enter into a binding settlement, as well as the principal attorneys responsible for the litigation, must be present in person and legally and factually prepared to discuss settlement of the case. Counsel appearing without their clients (whether or not counsel has been given settlement authority) will be cause for immediate imposition of sanctions and may also result in the immediate termination of the conference.

Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, persons required to attend the conference pursuant to this Order shall not be excused from personal attendance. Requests for excuse from attendance for extraordinary circumstances shall be made in writing at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the conference. Failure to appear in person at the Mandatory Settlement Conference will be grounds for sanctions.

b. Full Settlement Authority Required

In addition to counsel who will try the case, a party or party representative with full settlement authority*fn1 must be present for the conference. In the case of a corporate entity, an authorized representative of the corporation who is not retained outside counsel must be present and must have discretionary authority to commit the company to pay an amount up to the amount of the Plaintiff's prayer (excluding punitive damages prayers). The purpose of this requirement is to have representatives present who can settle the case during the course of the conference without consulting a superior. Counsel for a government entity may be excused from this requirement so long as the government attorney who attends the Mandatory Settlement Conference (1) has primary responsibility for handling the case, and (2) may negotiate settlement offers which the attorney is willing to recommend to the government official having ultimate settlement authority.

c. Confidential Settlement Statements Required

No later than February 22, 2008, the parties shall submit directly to Magistrate Judge Major's chambers confidential settlement statements no more than five (5) pages in length. These confidential statements shall not be filed or served on opposing counsel. Each party's confidential statement must include the following:

(i) A brief description of the case, the claims and/or counterclaims asserted, and the applicable defenses or position regarding the asserted claims;

(ii) A specific and current demand or offer for settlement addressing all relief or remedies sought. If a specific demand or offer for settlement cannot be made at the time the brief is submitted, then the reasons therefore must be stated along with a statement as to when the party will be in a position to state a demand or make an offer; and

(iii) A brief description of any previous settlement negotiations, mediation sessions, or mediation efforts.

General statements that a party will "negotiate in good faith" is not a specific demand or offer contemplated by this Order. It is assumed that all parties will negotiate in good faith.

d. Requests to Continue a Mandatory Settlement Conference

Any request to continue the Mandatory Settlement Conference or request for relief from any of the provisions or requirements of this Order must be sought by a written ex parte application. The application must (1) be supported by a declaration of counsel setting forth the reasons and justifications for the relief requested, (2) confirm compliance with Civil Local Rule 26.1, and (3) report the position of opposing counsel or any unrepresented parties subject to the Order.

If the case is settled in its entirety before the scheduled date of the conference, counsel and any unrepresented parties must still appear in person, unless a written joint motion confirming the complete settlement of the case is submitted no less than twenty-four (24) hours before the scheduled conference.

All other dates remain as previously established.


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