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Sell v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

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


February 9, 2010

WANDA A. SELL, INDIVIDUALLY AND A TRUSTEE OF THE NANCY A. MUHS TRUST, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
NATIONWIDE MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS

Assigned to Honorable Garland E. Burrell, Jr. STIPULATION AND ORDER AMENDING THE STATUS [PRETRIAL SCHEDULING] ORDER TO EXTEND THE DEADLINE FOR THE PARTIES TO EXCHANGE EXPERT WITNESS DISCLOSURES AND REPORTS AND TO EXTEND THE DISCOVERY COMPLETION DATE Trial: January 11, 2011

STIPULATION AND ORDER AMENDING THE STATUS [PRETRIAL SCHEDULING] ORDER

Defendant, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company ("Nationwide"), and Plaintiff, Wanda A. Sell ("Plaintiff"), through their respective counsel of record, jointly submit the following stipulation and order to amend the Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order to extend the deadline for the parties to exchange expert witness disclosures and reports by 60 days and to extend the discovery completion date by 30 days. The Stipulation is made pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 6(b) and 16(b)(4), Local Rules 83-143 and 6-144, and the Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order entered herein.

BRIEF STATEMENT OF CASE

This action was filed on April 10, 2009. This is a dispute involving a Farm Policy issued to named insured Nancy A. Muhs, owner of 87 acres of a ranch located at 13091 Willow Glen Road, Stockton, California (the "Property"), by Defendant for policy periods August 7, 2007 to August 8, 2008. Nancy A. Muhs passed away in 2005 and the Property was place in the Nancy A. Muhs Trust (the "Trust").

Plaintiff, trustee and beneficiary of the Trust, contends Defendant incorrectly denied Plaintiffs' tender of defense in connection with an underlying Petition filed by Rigoberto Ocequeda, next living successor to the Property, against Plaintiff demanding possession of the Property and claiming Plaintiff has not occupied the Property as her residence, pursuant to the alleged terms of the Trust (the "Underlying Action"). Plaintiff also alleges Defendant denied the claim in bad faith.

Defendant contends there is no potential for coverage of the Underlying Action under the policy at issue and therefore no duty to defend. To the extent Plaintiff claims there is or could be a duty to indemnify, Defendant contends the policy does not provide coverage. Defendant further contends its claims decision was reasonable and there is, at a minimum, a genuine issue of liability under the policy.

SCHEDULING ORDER

On August 10, 2009, the parties filed a Joint Status Report which included a proposed scheduling order. On August 14, 2009, this Court entered a Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order which set forth the following pre-trial and trial deadlines:

1. Initial Expert Disclosures: February 19, 2010

3. Rebuttal Expert Disclosures: March 22, 2010

4. Completion of Discovery: June 10, 2010

5. Deadline to Hear Dispositive Motions: August 2, 2010

6. Final Pre-Trial Conference: October 4, 2010

7. Trial: January 11, 2011

DISCLOSURES

The parties exchanged Initial Disclosures pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1) in October 2009.

STIPULATION OF PARTIES BASED ON GOOD CAUSE WHEREAS, the parties stipulate and agree more time to conduct further discovery before retaining expert witnesses would allow the parties additional time to discover information and evaluate the case for settlement purposes prior to incurring expenses associated with retaining experts and preparing expert reports given the early stages of this litigation.

WHEREAS, additional time to conduct further discovery will allow the parties to evaluate the potential for early settlement prior to incurring needless expenses on expert discovery.

WHEREAS, to facilitate additional time for discovery, the parties stipulate and agree to extend the initial expert disclosures deadline to April 20, 2010 and the rebuttal expert disclosures deadline to May 21, 2010.

WHEREAS, to allow the parties sufficient time to conduct any necessary expert depositions prior to discovery cut-off, the parties stipulate and agree to a short 30-day continuance of the expert discovery deadline to July 10, 2010.

WHEREAS, the parties stipulate and agree the continuance of the expert disclosures and discovery cut-off date would not affect the remaining pre-trial and trial dates in this matter.

WHEREAS, there has been no previous requests or extension of any deadline in this matter.

WHEREAS, the deadline to exchange initial expert disclosures, including reports, has not passed.

WHEREAS, the trial date and the deadline to hear dispositive motions will remain unchanged.

WHEREAS, the parties have not submitted any other request for continuance of the pre-trial and trial dates and deadlines in this matter.

WHEREAS, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 6(b), 16(a) and 16(b)(4) give the Court broad discretion to regulate pre-trial matters, to manage its calendar, grant continuance of scheduling dates, and to direct the parties in a manner that expedites disposition of the action and facilitates settlement.

WHEREAS, as set forth herein, good cause exists for the Court to grant the continuance under any of the Rules.

NOW, THEREFORE, all the parties hereto agree and stipulate to amend the Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order to extend the deadline for the parties to exchange expert witness disclosures and reports by 60 days and to extend the discovery completion date by 30 days as follows:

1) The parties' shall comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(c)(i)'s initial expert witness disclosure requirements on or before April 20, 2010, and with any contradictory and/or rebuttal expert disclosure authorized under Rule 26(a)(2)(c)(ii) on or before May 21, 2010; and

2) All discovery shall be completed by July 10, 2010.

IT IS SO STIPULATED.

Based on the foregoing Stipulation,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order be, and the same hereby is, amended to provide as follows:

1) The parties' shall comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(c)(i)'s initial expert witness disclosure requirements on or before April 20, 2010, and with any contradictory and/or rebuttal expert disclosure authorized under Rule 26(a)(2)(c)(ii) on or before May 21, 2010; and

2) All discovery shall be completed by July 10, 2010.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100209

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