IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA FRESNO DIVISION
September 23, 2011
PAUL A. GORNICK SR., PLAINTIFF,
CALIFORNIA DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, J. PAYNE, DOCANTO, BRANDON, SGT. DICKS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn WinmillChief U. S. District Judge
IT IS ORDERED that a settlement conference shall be held in this action on Thursday, September 29, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Nandor J. Vadas at Pelican Bay State Prison.
Mandatory Appearance Requirement
Plaintiff shall attend in person, along with Defendants' lead counsel
and a person with full and unlimited authority to negotiate and enter
into a binding settlement on Defendants' behalf. Those in attendance
must be prepared to discuss the claims, defenses, and damages.
Governmental entities may request permission to appear through
litigation counsel only, but the individual with full and unlimited
authority must be immediately
available to discuss and modify settlement authority.*fn1
The parties must be prepared to fully explore all settlement
options. The failure of any counsel, party or authorized person
subject to this order to appear in person will result in the immediate
imposition of sanctions. Sanctions will include, but will not be
limited to, the attorney fees and travel costs of the other parties in
the case. In addition, the conference will not proceed and will be
reset to another date.
In cases where a party is incarcerated at the time of the scheduled conference, defense counsel shall provide a copy of the order to the correctional institution's security personnel.
Preparing for the Conference
Counsel for the Department of Correction must give notice of the conference to all Defendants who have made an appearance as of the date of this order. All conference discussions will be informal, off the record, privileged, and confidential. In preparation for the conference, the parties shall submit a settlement conference brief to chambers, through their counsel where applicable, on or before September 27, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. Defendants shall send the settlement brief to firstname.lastname@example.org. If possible, Plaintiff should fax his statement to Judge Vadas at (707) 441-1659, or mail it to him at the Federal Building, 514 H Street, 2nd Floor, Eureka, CA 95501.*fn2
Plaintiff's settlement brief must include the following:
1. A brief description of the case and the claims asserted;
2. A specific demand for settlement addressing all relief or remedies sought; and
3. A brief description of any previous settlement efforts.
Defendants' settlement brief must include the following:
1. A brief description of the Defendants' position concerning Plaintiff's allegations and a list of defenses;
2. A specific and current response to Plaintiff's requests for relief in the Complaint and the Defendants' specific offer of settlement;
3. A budget of litigation costs between now and the time of trial; and
4. A brief description of any previous settlement efforts.
A general statement that a party will "negotiate in good faith" is not a specific demand or offer as contemplated by this Order. The settlement conference briefs are limited to five
(5) pages and must not include exhibits, attachments or incorporate by reference the pleadings on file in the case. Defendants' counsel shall also bring a settlement agreement form for use in memorializing the parties' agreement.
All information provided during the conference is considered confidential and privileged, and the parties may request that the briefs be destroyed at the end of the conference. No oral statement, written document, or other material considered during the mediation procedure may be used against any party to this litigation. The ADR provider shall not be called to testify regarding the settlement conference proceedings.
Request to Vacate Conference
If the case settles in its entirety before the scheduled date of the conference, counsel and any unrepresented parties must still appear in person, unless a joint motion to vacate the conference date is submitted no less than twenty-four (24) hours before the scheduled conference.
Inquiries about the Conference
Questions regarding the settlement conference may be directed to Linn Van Meter, Administrative Law Clerk, at (707) 455-3612