UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 29, 2013
LOWE'S HIW, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER GRANTING LOWE'S REQUEST FOR TELEPHONIC APPEARANCE OF THE CLIENT REPRESENTATIVE AT THE SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE (Doc. 13)
Before the Court is the request of Defendant Lowe's for an order excusing J. Patrick Stutts, Esq. from personally attending the settlement conference*fn1 currently scheduled for May 23, 2013. Apparently, Mr. Stutts is the person in whom Lowe's has vested full and complete settlement authority. Defendant explains that Mr. Stutts is located in North Carolina and his attendance at the settlement conference would be unduly burdensome.
Though the Court has no wish to impose unduly difficult requirements, the Court notes Defendant fails to explain that those who will appear at the settlement conference will have sufficient settlement authority such that the conference will not be delayed by repeated telephone calls to Mr. Stutts or others. However, the Court presumes this is the case and its order excusing Mr. Stutts from personally attending the conference is expressly conditioned upon this occurring.*fn2
Therefore, good cause appearing, the Court ORDERS:
1. Lowes' request for Mr. Stutts to be available by telephone, rather than personally appearing at the settlement conference, is GRANTED. However, this order is expressly 5 conditioned upon Defendant conferring sufficient settlement authority on those who will appear at 6 the settlement conference. Defendant's failure to do so will result in the imposition of sanctions;
2. Mr. Stutts SHALL be available by telephone throughout the entire settlement conference until excused by the Court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.