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Old Grove Service, Inc. v. McDonald's Corp.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 14, 2008

OLD GROVE SERVICE, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MCDONALD'S CORPORATION, A DELAWARE CORPORATION; AND 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

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

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT MCDONALD'S CORPORATION'S APPLICATION AND EX CONVERTING EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION CONFERENCE TO TELEPHONIC, ATTORNEYS-ONLY DOES CONFERENCE PARTE [Doc. No. 18]

On January 10, 2008, Defendant McDonald's Corporation filed an ex parte application to reschedule the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference ("ENE") presently scheduled for February 4, 2008, due to its client representatives' unavailability on that day. Doc. No. 18. McDonald's proposes February 28, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. as an alternative date when all counsel and clients for both parties are available. Id.

Because Local Rule 16.1(c) requires this Court to conduct an ENE within forty-five (45) days of the filing of the first answer and February 28th is outside of that window, the ex parte application is DENIED. However, in light of the fact that the representatives from McDonald's who have full settlement authority will not be available on February 4th, the Court finds it appropriate to convert the ENE to a telephonic, attorneys-only conference. Counsel for both parties shall participate on February 4, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. The Court will initiate the call. Counsel may discuss with the Court at that time whether it likely would be fruitful to convene a full settlement conference on February 28, 2008.

The parties are hereby advised that the Court still requires confidential ENE statements to be filed no later than five (5) court days prior to the February 4, 2008 telephonic ENE. The parties shall submit confidential statements no more than ten (10) pages*fn1 in length directly to the chambers of the Honorable Barbara L. Major. These confidential statements shall not be filed or served on opposing counsel. Each party's confidential statement must include the following:

a. A brief description of the case, the claims and/or counterclaims asserted, and the applicable defenses or position regarding the asserted claims;

b. 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

c. 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.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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