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Polczak v. Home Depot U.S.A.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 14, 2010

ADRIAN POLCZAK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 20, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

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

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR TELEPHONIC APPEARANCE AT THE MANDATORY SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE [Doc. No. 19]

A Mandatory Settlement Conference ("MSC") in the above matter is scheduled for May 26, 2010. See Doc. No. 15. On May 10, 2010, Plaintiff filed an ex parte motion requesting that Plaintiff be allowed to appear telephonically at the MSC, and the Court granted the motion on May 11, 2010. Doc. Nos. 17 & 18. On May 12, 2010, Defendant filed the instant motion to excuse Defendant from personal appearance at the MSC. Doc. No. 19. Defendant represents that "[e]xtraordinary circumstances exist" because "Defendant's principals are located in Atlanta, Georgia, and personal appearance at the [MSC] would require two days of travel time and excessive monetary costs." Id.

The Court believes personal appearances by all parties and clients are critical to a successful settlement conference, and as explained in the Case Management Conference Order, all counsel and all parties are required to appear in person absent extraordinary circumstances. Doc. No. 11 at 4-5. The Court granted Plaintiff's recent motion because he does not have the financial resources to travel to San Diego and he established the requisite extraordinary circumstances that justify a telephonic appearance at the MSC. See Doc. No. 17. Defendant has the ability to pay for travel to San Diego, but prefers not to do so. These facts do not establish the requisite extraordinary circumstances. Accordingly, Defendant's motion is hereby DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100514

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