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Mai v. Early Neutral Evaluation Conference

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 5, 2010

ROSALIE MAI, AN INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BERKSHIRE LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, A BUSINESS ENTITY OF UNKNOWN FORM; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANT.

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

ORDER DENYING JOINT MOTION AND CONVERTING EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION CONFERENCE TO TELEPHONIC EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION CONFERENCE

[Doc. No. 7]

On March 4, 2010, the parties to the above matter stipulated "that the ENE Conference currently set for March 12, 2010, be continued to April 9 at 10:00 a.m. and all related dates and deadlines, including the parties' initial disclosures..., be continued until after April 9, 2010." Doc. No. 7. Pursuant to the Local Rules for the Southern District of California, "stipulations must be recognized as binding on the court only when approved by the judge" and "[a]ny stipulation for which court approval is sought must be filed as a 'joint motion.'" L.R. 7.2(a), (b). Therefore, the Court will construe the instant stipulation as a joint motion.

Citing the unavailability of Plaintiff's counsel, the parties first request that the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference ("ENE") scheduled for March 12, 2010 be continued to April 9, 2010. Doc. No. 7. Local Rule 16.1(c) requires that an ENE take place within forty-five days of the filing of the first answer. The parties proposed date is well outside this time frame; therefore, their request is DENIED. Instead, the Court CONVERTS the ENE to a telephonic, attorney-only ENE to be held on March 11, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. The Court will initiate the conference call. The parties need not submit confidential statements.

The parties also request that the deadline for initial disclosures be continued until after April 9, 2010. Doc. No. 7. The Court notes that the deadline for making the disclosures required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A) through (E) was February 26, 2010. See doc. no. 5 at 5. However, the parties did not file the instant motion until March 4, 2010, six days after the deadline had passed. Therefore, the parties' request is DENIED and they are ORDERED to immediately make the required disclosures.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100305

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