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Warren v. Sunrise Assessment Services


December 9, 2009


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


A lawyer in this action had the audacity to call chambers for the purpose of requesting a telephonic appearance at the scheduled status conference, even though counsel had not filed a timely status report. The parties eventually filed a late status. "The cogs of the wheel of justice move much more smoothly when attorneys who practice in this court follow the rules of practice and procedure . . . ."

Dela Rosa v. Scottsdale Memorial Health Systems, Inc., 136 F.3d 1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 1998). Counsel should know that "[a] scheduling order is not a frivolous piece of paper, idly entered, which can be cavalierly disregarded by counsel without peril . . . . Disregard of the order [c]ould undermine the court's ability to control its docket . . . and reward the indolent and the cavalier," unless judicial action dissuade counsel from such behavior. Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc. 975 F.2d 604, 610 (9th Cir. 1992) (citation and quotations omitted). If counsel do not heed this warning, the Court could determine in a sanctions proceeding commenced in the future whether sanctions should be imposed for failure to comply with a court order.

The status (pretrial scheduling) conference scheduled for December 14, 2009 is vacated since the parties indicate in their untimely Joint Status Report, filed December 7, 2009, that the following Order should issue.


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


All discovery shall be completed by August 23, 2010. In this context, "completed" means that 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

Each party shall comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(c)(i)'s initial expert witness disclosure requirements on or before March 22, 2010, and any contradictory and/or rebuttal expert disclosure authorized under Rule 26(a)(2)(c)(ii) on or before April 22, 2010.


The last hearing date for motions shall be October 25, 2010, at 9:00 a.m.*fn2

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.


The final pretrial conference is set for December 20, 2010, at 2:30 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 parties shall include in the joint pretrial statement: (1) a list of the remaining claims against each defendant; (2) a list of the remaining affirmative defenses; and (3) the estimated number of trial days.*fn4 Further, in accordance with Local Rule 281(b)(3)-(4), the parties shall provide the undisputed facts they agree can be read to the jury before opening statements, or used by the judge in deciding a bench trial; and a concise statement of disputed factual issues pertinent to the claims and affirmative defenses to be tried.

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:


Trial shall commence at 9:00 a.m. on February 22, 2011.

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