May 9, 2013
CAROL CASTILLO, Plaintiff,
AETNA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
ROBERT J. ROSATI, (SBN. 112006) THORNTON DAVIDSON, (SBN: 166487) ERISA Law Group, LLP, Fresno, California. Attorneys for Plaintiff CAROL CASTILLO
JORDAN S. ALTURA, (SBN: 209431) SETH J. MANFREDI, (SBN: 260893) GORDON & REES LLP, San Francisco, CA. Attorneys for Defendant AETNA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY
STIPULATION AND ORDER REGARDING CROSS-MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT
LAWRENCE J. O'NEILL, District Judge.
COURT LANGAUGE AND ORDERS ADDED. READ BELOW
Plaintiff Carol Castillo and Defendant Aetna Life Insurance Company (hereinafter referred to as the "Parties"), by and through their respective counsel of record, hereby jointly file this Stipulation:
WHEREAS, the Court's scheduling order set the hearing on the Parties' cross-motions for judgment for August 1, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 4 before the Honorable Lawrence J. O'Neill, with motions to be filed by May 23, 2013, oppositions to be filed by June 21, 2013, and replies to be filed by July 18, 2013;
WHEREAS, pursuant to the recommendations of Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin at the October 2, 2012 Case Management Conference, the Parties engaged in settlement discussions, which are continuing and which the parties are optimistic will result in a settlement and dismissal of this action;
WHEREAS, the total benefit amount at issue in this dispute involving a life insurance policy is $60, 000, and the parties have agreed it would be beneficial for both sides to avoid the significant expense of preparing and filing cross-motions for judgment, prior to exhausting settlement efforts;
WHEREAS, the parties respectfully seek to modify the briefing schedule regarding the cross-motions for judgment, including the hearing date;
THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED BY AND BETWEEN THE PARTIES THAT:
1. Provided the Court's calendar allows, the hearing date on the Parties' cross-motions for judgment should be continued to August 22, 2013 at 8:30 a.m., with motions to be filed by June 13, 2013, oppositions to be filed by July 11, 2013, and replies to be filed by August 8, 2013;
2. The Parties hereby respectfully request the Court grant this continuance.
PURSUANT TO STIPULATION, IT IS SO ORDERED that the hearing date on the Parties' cross-motions for judgment should be continued to August 22, 2013 at 8:30 a.m., with motions to be filed by June 13, 2013, oppositions to be filed by July 11, 2013, and replies to be filed by August 8, 2013.
Judges in the Eastern District of California carry the heaviest caseload in the nation, and this Court is unable to devote inordinate time and resources to individual cases and matters. This Court must avoid devotion of resources to unfruitful matters, such as motions which become moot, and must take measures to maximize limited judicial resources and staff.
In addition, this Court ORDERS the parties to reconsider consent to conduct all further proceedings before one of the Court's Magistrate Judges, whose schedules are far more realistic and accommodating to parties than that of U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill, who must prioritize criminal and older civil cases. This Court ORDERS the parties' counsel, no later than May 24, 2013, to file and serve papers to indicate whether each party consents to the conduct of all further proceedings by a U.S. Magistrate Judge. U.S. Magistrate consent forms are available on this Court's website.
Civil trials set before Judge O'Neill trail until he becomes available and are subject to suspension mid-trial to accommodate criminal matters. Civil trials are no longer reset to a later date if Judge O'Neill is unavailable on the original date set for trial. If a trial trails, it may proceed with little advance notice, and the parties and counsel may be expected to proceed to trial with less than 24 hours notice. Moreover, this Court's Fresno Division randomly and without advance notice reassigns civil actions to U.S. District Judges throughout the nation to serve as visiting judges. In the absence of Magistrate Judge consent, this action is subject to trial scheduling difficulties and reassignment to a U.S. District Judge from outside the Eastern District of California.
The parties and counsel are encouraged to contact United States Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to address this Court's inability to accommodate the parties and this action. For further information regarding handling of this action, the parties may contact staff attorney Gary Green at (559) 499-5683 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IT IS SO ORDERED.