UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
October 27, 2011
SHARON RENEE HILL,
KOHL'S DEPARTMENT STORES, PLACE: 9TH FLOOR CHAMBERS INC.,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge: Hon.Sandra M. Snyder
ORDER RE: SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE
Date: 11/23/11Time: 10:30 a.m.
Pursuant to the Minutes (Doc. 32) issued following the Status Conference held on October 27, 2011, this case is set for a Settlement Conference on November 23, 2011 at 10:30 a.m., Ninth Floor Chambers, before the Honorable Sandra M. Snyder, United States Magistrate Judge.
Therefore, consideration of settlement is a serious matter that requires thorough preparation prior to the Settlement Conference. Accordingly, the following is HEREBY ORDERED (to the best of pro se plaintiff's ability):
1. Pre-Settlement Conference Exchange of Demand and Offer
A Settlement Conference is more likely to be productive if, prior
thereto, the parties exchange written settlement proposals.
IDEALLY , at least fourteen (14) days prior to the
Settlement Conference, plaintiff shall submit a written itemization of
damages and settlement demand to defense counsel, together with a
brief summary of the legal and factual basis supporting the demand.
IDEALLY , no later than seven (7) days prior to the
Settlement Conference, defense counsel shall submit a written offer to
plaintiff, together with a brief summary of the legal and factual
basis supporting the offer.
2. Submission and Content of Mandatory Confidential Settlement Conference Statements Defendant is to e-mail a Confidential Settlement
Conference Statement directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than five (5) days prior to the Settlement Conference, or by November 16, 2011. Pro se plaintiff, Sharon Hill, shall mail her Confidential Settlement Conference Statement directly to Judge Snyder's chambers as follows:
Hon. Sandra M. Snyder
United States District Court 2500 Tulare Street, Suite 1501 Fresno, CA 93721 Additionally, defendant shall e-file a Notice of Submission of Confidential Settlement Conference Statement in compliance with Local Rule 270(d).
Confidential Settlement Conference Statements (are typically typed and double spaced and) shall include the following:
a. A brief summary of the core facts, allegations, and defenses.
b. A summary of the proceedings to date.
c. An estimate of the cost and time to be expended for further discovery, pretrial, and trial.
d. The nature of the relief sought.
e. An outline of past settlement efforts, including information regarding the "Pre-Settlement Conference Exchange of Demand and Offer" required above, and a history of past settlement discussions, offers, and demands.
f. A statement of each party's expectations and goals for the Settlement Conference.
3. Attendance of Trial Counsel and Parties Required *fn1 The attorneys who will try the case and parties with full and complete settlement authority are required to personally attend. An insured party shall appear by a representative of the insurer who is authorized to negotiate, and who has authority to settle the matter up to the limits of the opposing parties' existing settlement demand. An uninsured corporate party shall appear by a representative authorized to negotiate, and who has authority to settle the matter up to the amount of the opposing parties' existing settlement demand or offer. Having a client with authority available by telephone is not an acceptable alternative, except under the most extenuating circumstances, which does not include out-of-town or out-of-state travel and the purchase of an airplane ticket. The Court generally sets aside at least a couple of hours for each conference. Therefore, it is difficult for a party who is not present to appreciate the process and the reasons that may justify a change in one's perspective toward settlement.
The Court expects all counsel, parties, and/or party representatives to be fully prepared to participate. The Court encourages all parties to keep an open mind in order to reassess their previous positions and to discover creative means for resolving the dispute.
4. Issues to be Discussed
The parties shall be prepared to discuss the following at the Settlement Conference:
a. Goals in the litigation and problems they would like to address in the Settlement Conference and understanding of the opposing side's goals.
b. The issues (inside and outside the lawsuit) that need to be resolved.
c. The strengths and weaknesses of their case.
d. Their understanding of the opposing side's view of the case.
e. The points of agreement and disagreement (factual and legal) between the parties.
f. Any financial, emotional, and/or legal impediments to settlement.
g. Whether settlement or further litigation better enables the accomplishment of their respective goals.
h. Any possibilities for a creative resolution of the dispute.
5. Statements Inadmissible
The parties are expected to address each other with courtesy and respect, and are encouraged to be frank and open in their discussions. Statements made by any party during the Settlement Conference are not to be used in discovery and will not be admissible at trial.
6. Persons Appearing In Propria Persona
Local Rule 183(a) ~ Rules Governing Appearance ~ states, in part, that:
Any individual representing himself or herself without an attorney is bound by the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure, these Rules, and all other applicable law. All obligations placed on "counsel" by these Rules apply to individuals appearing in propria persona. Failure to comply therewith may be ground for dismissal, judgment by default, or any other sanction appropriate under these Rules.
Additionally, Local Rule 131(a) ~ Counsel
Identification And Signatures ~ requires, in part, that:
. . . if in propria persona, the name, address, and telephone number of the party . . . shall appear in the upper left-hand corner of the first page of each document presented for filing.
Therefore, in compliance with these Rules, the Confidential Settlement Conference Statement of Pro Se Plaintiff must contain her name, address, as well as a telephone number, in the upper left-hand corner of the first page.
If there is no settlement authority from either party and/or it is the hope of either party that this Court assess strengths and weaknesses of each parties' cases such that this Court will hopefully convince a party to dismiss the lawsuit, THIS IS NOT SETTLEMENT . In such a situation, the parties are directed to coordinate a telephonic conference call with this Court, through staff at (559) 499-5690, prior to the Settlement Conference, to discuss the status of settlement. Failure to do so could result in sanctions against any or all parties if appearances are made and it was known to one or more parties that the case cannot settle.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Sandra M. Snyder UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE