The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER ELECTING NOT TO ADOPT THE PARTIES' STIPULATION TO EXTEND CERTAIN DISCOVERY ) DEADLINES
On July 17, 2012, this Court issued its Scheduling Conference Order, setting all discovery and trial-related deadlines and hearing dates. (Doc. 12.)
On December 21, 2012, the parties to the action filed a Stipulation Requesting Order Modifying Scheduling Conference Order. More particularly, the parties seek to extend the following: non-expert discovery cutoff, initial expert disclosure, supplemental expert disclosure, expert discovery cutoff, as well as pretrial motion filing and hearing deadlines. (Doc. 13.)
For the reasons that follow, the Court will not adopt the parties' stipulation. See Local Rule 143(b) (Stipulations are not effective unless approved by the Court).
Significantly, the parties have not established good cause. At pages six and seven, paragraph nine, of the Scheduling Conference Order, the parties were advised that "[s]tipulations extending the deadlines contained herein will not be considered unless they are accompanied by affidavits or declarations with attached exhibits, where appropriate, which establish good cause for granting the relief requested." (Doc. 12.) The mere fact the parties agree that they need additional time within which to conduct discovery and to permit settlement discussions does not equate to nor establish good cause.
Additionally, this Court notes that with a jury trial set to commence July 30, 2013, moving these discovery deadlines leaves an insufficient amount of time between the filing of pretrial motions and related hearing, and the pretrial conference. For instance, if the Court were to adopt the parties' stipulation and extend the pretrial motion filing deadline to May 1, 2013 and the hearing deadline to May 31, 2013, that would leave only twelve (12) days between the hearing date and the pretrial conference of June 11, 2013. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill requires a minimum of about forty-five (45) days, or six weeks, between the pretrial motion hearing date and the pretrial conference.
Accordingly, the parties may present a stipulation for this Court's consideration that (1) establishes the required good cause, and (2) allows for sufficient time between the pretrial motion hearing date and the pretrial conference.
In conclusion, unless the parties offer a stipulation that complies with the requirements discussed above, the Scheduling Conference Order dated July 17, 2012, and all deadlines and dates referenced therein, remains operative.
© 1992-2012 VersusLaw ...