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Arc Ecology v. United States Maritime Administration

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


September 4, 2008

ARC ECOLOGY, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

JOINT STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY AND CASE MANAGEMENT DEADLINES

The parties to the above-captioned case stipulate to and respectfully propose the following modifications to this Court's January 29, 2008 Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order (Doc. No. 19):

WHEREAS, Plaintiffs filed their Complaint on October 29, 2007, alleging claims, inter alia, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6972;*fn1

WHEREAS, on December 6, 2007, Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint, adding claims under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1365, following the ripening of their sixty-day notice of intention to sue;

WHEREAS, on January 29, 2008, this Court entered a Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order that provided for: expert disclosures on October 10, 2008; rebuttal expert disclosures on November 18, 2008; completion of discovery by February 13, 2009; hearing of motions by April 20, 2009; a pretrial conference on June 29, 2009; and trial beginning September 29, 2009;

WHEREAS, on February 19, 2008, the Parties exchanged initial disclosures pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1);

WHEREAS, on March 17, 2008, Plaintiffs served their First Set of Requests for Production of Documents (the "RFPs") and First Set of Requests for Admission;

WHEREAS, on April 1, 2008, Defendants requested a sixty-day extension of time to respond to Plaintiffs RFPs on grounds including that responsive documents might be located on more than 200 separate vessels, each of which Defendants contended they would have to search, as well as the departure from federal employment of Defendant's lead trial counsel, and Defendants indicated their view that Plaintiffs' RFPs encompassed many areas outside the proper scope of discovery in the present litigation;

WHEREAS, on April 7, 2008, Plaintiffs consented to a 60-day extension for response to the RFPs, thereby extending the response date to June 16, 2008;

WHEREAS, on June 18 and 19, 2008, Defendants allowed Plaintiffs to inspect and copy documents located onboard each non-retention vessel in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet;

WHEREAS, on May 1, 2008, Defendants produced documents to Plaintiffs bearing BATES MAR 640 0001 to 0135;

WHEREAS, on June 30, 2008, Defendants produced one compact disc to Plaintiffs bearing BATES MARAD00005 to 025920;

WHEREAS, on July 21, 2008, Defendants produced two compact discs and one DVD to Plaintiffs bearing BATES MARAD030760 to 037702;

WHEREAS, although Defendants have produced and are continuing to produce numerous documents in response to Plaintiffs' RFPs, Defendants still have not completed their production;

WHEREAS, on July 24, 2008, Defendants confirmed that they could complete their document production in response to Plaintiffs' RFPs by early September 2008;

WHEREAS, given Plaintiffs' need to take fact depositions and to conduct other written discovery following Defendants' completion of their production of documents in September 2008, Plaintiffs will be unable to make their initial expert disclosures by the existing October 10, 2008 deadline;

WHEREAS, on July 25, 2008, Defendants communicated to Plaintiffs a preliminary settlement proposal;

WHEREAS, relief from the existing discovery and trial schedule is necessary to afford the parties an opportunity to assess whether settlement of this complex case is realistic;

WHEREAS, the parties wish to resolve their dispute over the timeliness of Defendants' response to Plaintiffs' RFPs without an unnecessary motion to compel, while affording Plaintiffs time to prepare their case following completion of Defendants' document production;

WHEREAS, on August 27, 2008, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region ("Water Board"), mailed to Defendants a letter providing sixty days notice of the Water Board's intention to sue Defendants under the Clean Water Act on claims similar to those in Plaintiffs' Complaint; and

WHEREAS, upon the expiration of the sixty-day notice period, the Water Board might either seek to intervene in this action or to file a parallel suit in this Court;

THEREFORE, the parties hereby STIPULATE as follows:

1. Defendants shall, no later than September 10, 2008, produce the majority of remaining relevant, non-privileged documents in their possession, custody, or control that are responsive to the March 17, 2008 RFPs.

2. Defendants shall, no later than September 26, 2008, produce: (a) any remaining relevant, non-privileged documents in their possession, custody, or control that are responsive to the March 17, 2008 RFPs; and (b) a privilege log covering all redactions and withholdings of responsive documents under a claim of privilege.

2. Each party shall comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)'s initial expert witness disclosure and report requirements on or before April 10, 2009, and with any authorized rebuttal expert disclosure on or before May 20, 2009.

3. All discovery shall be completed by July 31, 2009.

4. The last hearing date for dispositive motions shall be October 13, 2009, at 9:00 a.m.

5. The final pre-trial conference is set for December 7, 2009, at 1:30 p.m.

6. Trial shall commence on March 9, 2010, at 9:00 a.m.

ORDER

The foregoing stipulation by the parties is hereby approved except for the law and motion date which has been changed to October 13; therefore, the January 29, 2008 Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order is modified accordingly. It is so ORDERED.


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