IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
June 29, 2012
HAT WORLD, INC., D/B/A LIDS TEAM SPORTS, PLAINTIFF,
KEVIN KELLY, DEFENDANT.
On June 27, 2012, the undersigned granted plaintiff's application for an order shortening time on a motion to permit targeted discovery before the Rule 26(f) conference in this case, and set the motion for expedited discovery to be heard on Monday, July 2, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. Dckt. No. 21; see also Dckt. Nos. 17, 19. The parties were "reminded of the necessity of meeting and conferring in good faith, and attempting to resolve their discovery dispute prior to the court's hearing regarding the dispute," and were directed to meet and confer regarding the motion for expedited discovery on or before 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, 2012. Dckt. No. 21 at 3. The order provided that if the parties were unable to resolve the dispute through the meet and confer process, defendant was to file a response to plaintiff's motion for expedited discovery at or before 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 29, 2012. Id.
On June 29, 2012, defendant filed an opposition to the motion for expedited discovery. Dckt. No. 25. In the opposition, defendant indicates that the parties attempted to meet and confer via email and via a telephone conference on June 28, 2012 but were unable to reach an agreement. Id. at 4; Thompson Decl., Dckt. No. 26, ¶¶ 2-4. However, a review of defendant's opposition and the email exchanges between the parties reveals that the parties may be able to reach a resolution on some or all of the expedited discovery at issue, but were unable to reach such a resolution primarily because of the tight schedule that was set for hearing the motion. Thompson Decl., Exs. A, B. The opposition and email exchanges also reveal that the parties primarily focused on the timing of discovery and the preliminary injunction hearing, as opposed to the specific discovery requests at issue. Id.
Although plaintiff initially requested a hearing on the motion for expedited discovery on or before July 2, 2012, and the court initially granted that request, the meet and confer process is an important component of the discovery process and is required by both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and this court's Local Rules. See E.D. Cal. L.R. 251(b) (providing that a discovery motion will not be heard unless "the parties have conferred and attempted to resolve their differences" and that "[c]counsel for all interested parties shall confer in advance of the filing of the motion or in advance of the hearing of the motion in a good faith effort to resolve the differences that are the subject of the motion."); Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(1) (providing that a motion to compel discovery "must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party failing to make disclosure or discovery in an effort to obtain it without court action."). In order to permit the parties to engage in a proper and thorough meet and confer process, the hearing on the motion for expedited discovery will be continued.*fn1
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The hearing on plaintiff's motion for expedited discovery, Dckt. No. 17, is continued to Monday, July 9, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in Courtroom No. 24.
2. On or before Thursday, July 5, 2012, the parties shall further meet and confer in good faith in an attempt to resolve their discovery dispute prior to the court's hearing regarding the dispute. Failure of any party to do so will be cause for sanctions.
3. If the parties are able to resolve the dispute without court intervention, plaintiff's counsel shall withdraw the motion as soon as possible.
4. If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute through the further meet and confer process, on or before 12:00 p.m. on Friday, July 6, 2012, the parties shall file a joint statement regarding the discovery disagreement, in accordance with Local Rule 251.