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Morris v. Life Insurance Co. of North America

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 22, 2009

DAVID MORRIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA; CORN PRODUCTS INTERNATIONAL, INC., BENEFIT PLAN, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge

STATUS (PRETRIAL SCHEDULING) ORDER

The status (pretrial scheduling) conference scheduled for June 29, 2009, is vacated since the parties indicate in the Joint Status Report filed on June 12, 2009, that the following Order should issue.

SERVICE, JOINDER OF ADDITIONAL PARTIES, AMENDMENT

No further service, joinder of parties or amendments to pleadings is permitted, except with leave of Court, good cause having been shown.

DISCOVERY

Defendants shall file a copy of the administrative record no later than July 22, 2009. The parties dispute whether discovery outside the administrative record should be allowed. A party desiring discovery must file a motion that seeks specified discovery, and the factual and legal basis therefor, to be heard no later than September 28, 2009 at 9:00 a.m.

If discovery is permitted, all discovery shall be completed by January 28, 2010. In this context, "completed" means all discovery shall have been conducted so that all depositions have been taken and any disputes relative to discovery shall have been resolved by appropriate orders, if necessary, and, where discovery has been ordered, the order has been complied with or, alternatively, the time allowed for such compliance shall have expired.*fn1

MOTION HEARING SCHEDULE

The last hearing date for motions shall be April 5, 2010, at 9:00 a.m.*fn2

Motions shall be filed in accordance with Local Rule 78-230(b). Opposition papers shall be filed in accordance with Local Rule 78-230(c). Failure to comply with this local rule may be deemed consent to the motion and the Court may dispose of the motion summarily. Brydges v. Lewis, 18 F.3d 651, 652-53 (9th Cir. 1994). Further, failure to timely oppose a summary judgment motion may result in the granting of that motion if the movant shifts the burden to the non-movant to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact remains for trial. Cf. Marshall v. Gates, 44 F.3d 722 (9th Cir. 1995).

Absent highly unusual circumstances, reconsideration of a motion is appropriate only where:

(1) The Court is presented with newly discovered evidence that could not reasonably have been discovered prior to the filing of the party's motion or opposition papers;

(2) The Court committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust; or

(3) There is an intervening change in controlling law.

A motion for reconsideration based on newly discovered evidence shall set forth, in detail, the reason why said evidence could not reasonably have been discovered prior to the filing of the party's motion or opposition papers. Motions for reconsideration shall comply with Local Rule 78-230(k) in all other respects.

The parties are cautioned that an untimely motion characterized as a motion in limine may be summarily denied. A motion in limine addresses the admissibility of evidence.

FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE

The final pretrial conference is set for June 7, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. The parties are cautioned that the lead attorney who WILL TRY THE CASE for each party shall attend the final pretrial conference. In addition, all persons representing themselves and appearing in propria persona must attend the pretrial conference.

The parties are warned that non-trial worthy issues could be eliminated sua sponte "[i]f the pretrial conference discloses that no material facts are in dispute and that the undisputed facts entitle / one of the parties to judgment as a matter of law." Portsmouth Square v. S'holders Protective Comm., 770 F.2d 866, 869 (9th Cir. 1985). The parties shall file a JOINT pretrial statement no later than seven (7) calendar days prior to the final pretrial conference.*fn3

The joint pretrial statement shall specify the issues for trial and shall estimate the length of the trial.*fn4 The Court uses the parties' joint pretrial statement to prepare its final pretrial order and could issue the final pretrial order without holding the scheduled final pretrial conference. See Mizwicki v. Helwig, 196 F.3d 828, 833 (7th Cir. 1999) ("There is no requirement that the court hold a pretrial conference.").

If possible, at the time of filing the joint pretrial statement counsel shall also email it in a format compatible with WordPerfect to: geborders@caed.uscourts.gov.

TRIAL SETTING

Trial shall commence at 9:00 a.m. on August 31, 2010.

MISCELLANEOUS

The parties are reminded that pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b), the Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order shall not be modified except by leave of Court upon a showing of good cause.

Counsel are cautioned that a mere stipulation by itself to change dates does not constitute good cause.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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