IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
August 22, 2012
THOMAS BOTELL, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge
Compliance with Eastern District Local Rule 251's requirement of a joint statement is not an option. Therefore, the hearing set for August 23, 2012 is vacated. In its stead, the parties through counsel shall personally meet and confer no later than August23, 2012 in an attempt to narrow discovery differences. To the extent disputes remain, plaintiff shall serve on defendant's counsel an electronic draft copy of a joint statement in Word or Word Perfect format, more or less with the organization in plaintiff's separate statement, no later than 4:00 p.m., August 29, 2012. Defense counsel shall insert appropriate agreement/opposition to each disputed discovery request or category of requests in plaintiff's draft immediately below each contested discovery request or category of request. Defense counsel shall then file the joint statement no later than 5:00 p.m., August 31, 2012. Hearing on the discovery motion is set for September 6, 2012.
To the extent that defendant's position is that defendant is "still looking" for responsive discovery, or words to that effect, defendant shall supply a declaration along with the filing of the joint statement as to the efforts made to date in procuring the discovery, i.e., who has looked, where, when, how, and why a final response cannot be made at this time.
While a privilege log may be appropriately categorized, the parties are reminded that not every document, or attachment to a document, which finds its way into an attorney's "litigation file," becomes automatically imbued with attorney-client privilege or work product immunity. Any privilege log prepared to date, or modified for purposes of this discovery dispute, shall be filed along with the joint statement.
The undersigned has given the party, or parties, responsible for non-compliance with Local Rule 251 an opportunity to avoid sanctions, an opportunity that does not appear deserved, but which will be given to avoid resources spent on non-productive fault finding. Should the parties not take advantage of this opportunity, the resources will be spent to determine fault, and the responsible party, or parties, shall pay for these resources expended in a most unpleasant way.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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