SHEILA K. OBERTO, Magistrate Judge.
This Court conducted a scheduling conference on June 25, 2013. Counsel Julia Sherwin, Esq., appeared telephonically on behalf of Plaintiffs. Mildred K. O'Linn, Esq., and Anthony M. Sain, Esq., appeared telephonically on behalf of Defendants. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b), this Court sets a schedule for this action.
1. Important Information about Scheduling and Trailing
District Court Judges of the Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California currently have the heaviest caseload in the nation. As a result, each District Judge schedules multiple trials to begin on each available trial date. Civil cases will "trail" and begin as soon as a courtroom is cleared. The law requires that the Court give any criminal trial priority over civil trials or any other matter. A civil trial set to begin while a criminal trial is proceeding will trail the completion of the criminal trial.
Without the ability to definitively predict which cases will actually go to trial or precisely how long each will last, the Court cannot provide advance notice of which cases will trail or for how long. Once the trial date arrives, counsel, parties and witnesses must remain on 24-hour standby until a court is available. Since continuance to a date certain will simply postpone, but not solve, the problem, continuances of any civil trial under these circumstances will no longer be entertained, absent a specific and stated finding of good cause.
The parties are also informed that in response to its large caseload, the Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California is assigning cases, whenever possible, to Article III District Court Judges from around the nation as Visiting Judges. Pursuant to the Local Rules, Appendix A, such reassignments will be random, and the parties will receive no advance notice before their case is reassigned to an Article III District Court Judge from outside of the Eastern District of California.
The parties are reminded that they may consent to a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all proceedings, including trial and entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73, and Local Rule 305. The Eastern District Magistrate Judges, all experienced former trial lawyers, use the same jury pool and same court facilities as United States District Court Judges. Since Magistrate Judges do not conduct felony trials, they have greater flexibility and schedule firm trial dates. Judgment entered by a United States Magistrate Judge is appealable directly to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
2. Current Status of Consent to the Magistrate Judge Jurisdiction
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the parties have not consented to conduct all further proceedings in this case, including trial, before the Honorable Sheila K. Oberto, U.S. Magistrate Judge.
3. Amendment to the Parties' Pleadings
Plaintiffs anticipate amending the operative complaint. Any motions or stipulations requesting leave to amend the pleadings must be filed by no later than October 31, 2013. The parties are advised that filing motions and/or stipulations requesting leave to amend the pleadings by October 31, 2013, does not reflect on the propriety of the amendment or imply good cause to modify the existing schedule, if necessary. All proposed amendments must (A) be supported by good cause pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b) if the amendment requires any modification to the existing schedule, see Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992), and (B) establish, under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a), that such an amendment is not (1) prejudicial to the opposing party, (2) the product of undue delay, (3) proposed in bad faith, or (4) futile, see Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).
4. F.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1) Initial Disclosures
Initial disclosures required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1) shall be completed on or before July 1, 2013.
5. Discovery Cutoffs and Limits
Pursuant to the parties' representations in the Joint Scheduling Report that each side will require more than ten (10) depositions as allowed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(a)(2)(A)(i), the Court orders that each side may conduct up to fifteen (15) depositions without further Court approval.
Plaintiffs' request that the Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(a) interrogatory limit be reduced is denied. Defendants' request for a temporary stay of discovery on Plaintiffs' Monell liability claims is denied.
The parties are ordered to complete all discovery pertaining to non-experts on or before February 14, 2014, and all discovery pertaining to experts on or before April 18, 2014.
The parties are directed to disclose all expert witnesses, in writing, on or before February 14, 2014, and to disclose all rebuttal experts on or before February 28, 2014. The written designation of retained and non-retained experts shall be made pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 26(a)(2), (A), (B) and (C) and shall include all information required thereunder. Failure to designate experts in compliance with this order may result in the Court excluding the testimony or other evidence offered through such experts that are not disclosed pursuant to this order. The provisions of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(4) and (5) shall apply to all discovery relating to experts and their opinions. Experts must be fully prepared to be examined on all subjects ...