SCHEDULING ORDER (Fed. R. Civ. P. 16)
JENNIFER L. THURSTON, Magistrate Judge.
I. Date if Scheduling Conference
January 23, 2014.
II. Appearances of Counsel
William Smith appeared on behalf of Plaintiff.
Jill Cartwright appeared on behalf of Defendant.
III. Information Concerning the Court's Schedule
Out of fairness, the Court believes it is necessary to forewarn litigants that the Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California now has the heaviest District Court Judge caseload in the entire nation. While the Court will use its best efforts to resolve this case and all other civil cases in a timely manner, the parties are admonished that not all of the parties' needs and expectations may be met as expeditiously as desired. As multiple trials are now being set to begin upon the same date, parties may find their case trailing with little notice before the trial begins. The law requires that the Court give any criminal trial priority over civil trials or any other matter. The Court must proceed with a criminal trial even if a civil trial was filed earlier and set for trial first. Continuances of any civil trial under these circumstances will no longer be entertained, absent a specific and stated finding of good cause. All parties should be informed that any civil trial set to begin during the time a criminal trial is proceeding will trail the completion of the criminal trial.
The parties are reminded of the availability of a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all proceedings in this action. A United States Magistrate Judge is available to conduct trials, including entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 28 U.S.C. 636(c), Federal Rule of and Local Rule 305. The same jury pool is used by both United States Magistrate Judges and United States District Court Judges. Any appeal from a judgment entered by a United States Magistrate Judge is taken directly to the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. However, the parties are hereby informed that no substantive rulings or decisions will be affected by whether a party chooses to consent.
Finally, the Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California, whenever possible, is utilizing United States Article III District Court Judges from throughout the nation as Visiting Judges. Pursuant to the Local Rules, Appendix A, 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.
Therefore, the parties are directed to consider consenting to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction to conduct all further proceedings, including trial. Within 10 days of the date of this order, counsel SHALL file a consent/decline form (provided by the Court at the inception of this case) indicating whether they will consent to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Judge.
IV. Pleading Amendment Deadline
Any requested pleading amendments are ordered to be filed, either through a stipulation or motion to amend, no later than April 21, 2014.
V. Discovery Plan and Cut-Off Date
The parties are ordered to exchange the initial disclosures required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1) on or before February 14, 2014.
The parties are ordered to complete all discovery pertaining to non-experts on or before October 31, 2014, and all discovery pertaining to experts on or before November 14, 2015.
The parties are directed to disclose all expert witnesses, in writing, on or before November 14, 2014, and to disclose all rebuttal experts on or before December 15, 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 and opinions included in the designation. Failure to comply will result in the imposition of sanctions, which may include striking the expert designation and preclusion of expert testimony.
The provisions of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(e) regarding a party's duty to timely supplement disclosures and responses to discovery ...