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Ruffino v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 23, 2017



         An initial scheduling conference was held in this case on April 13, 2017. Angela Chun appeared for plaintiff; Philip Scarborough appeared for defendant.

         Having reviewed the parties' Joint Status Report filed on March 23, 2017, and discussed a schedule for the case with counsel at the hearing, the court makes the following orders:


         All named defendants have been served and no further service is permitted without leave of court, good cause having been shown.


         No further joinder of parties or amendments to pleadings is permitted without leave of court, good cause having been shown. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b); Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604 (9th Cir. 1992).


         Plaintiff asserts jurisdiction is proper under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671, et seq. The United States asserts the court lacks jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a) and 28 U.S.C. § 2671, to the extent plaintiff bases his claims on the actions or omissions of a government contractor. The United States will file a motion addressing its jurisdictional position by the close of fact discovery.

         IV. DISCOVERY

         Initial disclosures as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a) shall have been completed within fourteen (14) days of the scheduling conference. Discovery shall be divided into two phases, with the first phase addressing jurisdictional and liability issues and the second phase addressing damages. Phase One discovery shall be completed by December 31, 2017; Phase Two shall be completed by March 30, 2018. In this context, “completed” means that all discovery shall have been conducted so that all depositions have been taken and any disputes relative to discovery shall have been resolved by appropriate order if necessary and, where discovery has been ordered, the order has been obeyed. All motions to compel discovery must be noticed on the magistrate judge's calendar in accordance with the local rules of this court. While the assigned magistrate judge reviews proposed discovery phase protective orders, requests to seal or redact are decided by Judge Mueller as discussed in more detail below. In addition, while the assigned magistrate judge handles discovery motions, the magistrate judge cannot change the schedule set in this order, except that the magistrate judge may modify a discovery cutoff to the extent such modification does not have the effect of requiring a change to the balance of the schedule.

         The court approves the parties' agreement that electronically-stored documents may be produced in PDF format, with the requesting party reserving the right to request native format, if such exists, for any digital photographs that are produced.

         The parties also agree, with the court's approval, to coordinate discovery efforts in the related state case so as to avoid duplication.


         Expert designation shall be completed by March 30, 2018, with rebuttal expert designation completed by April 13, 2018. All counsel are to designate in writing, file with the court, and serve upon all other parties the name, address, and area of expertise of each expert that they propose to tender at trial not later than April 18, 2018. The designation shall be accompanied by a written report prepared and signed by the witness. The report shall comply with Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(2)(B). By May 9, 2018, any party who previously disclosed expert witnesses may submit a supplemental list of expert witnesses who will express an opinion on a subject covered by an expert designated by an adverse party, if the party supplementing an expert witness designation has not previously retained an expert to testify on that subject. The supplemental designation shall be accompanied by a written report, which shall also comply with the conditions stated above.

         Failure of a party to comply with the disclosure schedule as set forth above in all likelihood will preclude that party from calling the expert witness at the time of trial. An expert witness not appearing on the designation will not be permitted to testify unless the party offering the witness demonstrates: (a) that the necessity for the witness could not have been reasonably anticipated at the time the list was proffered; (b) that the court and opposing counsel were promptly notified upon discovery of the witness; and (c) that the witness was promptly made available for deposition.

         For purposes of this scheduling order, an “expert” is any person who may be used at trial to present evidence under Rules 702, 703 and 705 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which include both “percipient experts” (persons who, because of their expertise, have rendered expert opinions in the normal course of their work duties or observations pertinent to the issues in the case) and “retained experts” (persons specifically designated by a party to be a testifying expert for the purposes of litigation). A party shall identify whether a disclosed expert is percipient, retained, or both. It will be assumed that a party designating a retained expert has acquired the express permission of the witness to be so listed. Parties designating percipient experts must state in the designation who is responsible for arranging the deposition of such persons.

         All experts designated are to be fully prepared at the time of designation to render an informed opinion, and give the bases for their opinion, so that they will be able to give full and complete testimony at any deposition taken by the opposing party. Experts will not be permitted to testify at trial as to any information gathered or evaluated, or opinion formed, after deposition taken subsequent to designation. All expert discovery shall be completed by June 15, 2018.

         VI. MOTION ...

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