United States District Court, E.D. California
HADDON, United States District Judge
Court's scheduling order in this case was issued on June
21, 2016,  by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston.
Deadlines established in that Order were later amended by a
series of Orders on November 1, 2016, March 8, 2017, March
14, 2017, April 14, 2017, April 18, 2017, May 19, 2017,
August 14, 2017, September 7, 2017, September 11, 2017, and
October 12, 2017.The several Orders established, inter
alia, dates for amendment of pleadings (September 19,
2016),  close of discovery for all experts (June
2, 2017),  designation and disclosure of
case-in-chief experts (May 5, 2017),  and filing of the final
pretrial order (September 8, 2017). There were no pending
requests or motions to modify the deadlines as established by
the Court until the motion currently pending was filed on
October 18, 2017,  over 19 weeks after discovery closed and
nearly 6 weeks after the proposed pretrial order was filed.
September 12, 2017, the Court issued its Order setting a
hearing to address matters "related to conduct of trial,
witnesses to be called to testify at trial, discovery
responses to be introduced into evidence at trial, deposition
testimony to be offered at trial and exhibits to be offered
deposition of Plaintiffs' expert Julian J. Dominguez
("Dominguez") was taken on May 23, 2017, at which
Plaintiffs were accorded unlimited opportunity to fully
examine Dominguez on matters relevant to his participation in
the case, including inquiry as to all opinions he was
expected to address by testimony at trial.
hearing was held on October 12, 2017, to address matters
identified in the September 12, 2017, Order. The Court's
Order, issued October 24, 2017, following the October 12,
2017, hearing included:
On September 12, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a designation of
portions of the May 23, 2017, deposition of Julian J.
Dominguez ("Dominguez") to be offered as evidence
at trial. (Doc. No. 145.)
On September 14, 2017, Defendants filed objections to
Plaintiffs' deposition designations of Dominguez. (Doc.
On September 18, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their response to
Defendants' Dominguez' deposition objections. (Doc.
On October 3, 2017, Plaintiffs filed additional designations
from the deposition of Dominguez to be offered at trial.
(Doc. No. 152.)
At the October 12, 2017, hearing, the Court disclosed to
counsel, for reasons stated on the record, its tentative
conclusion that it was inclined to exclude from introduction
at trial the entirety of Dominguez's May 23, 2017,
deposition testimony. At that same hearing, Plaintiffs were
accorded until October 20, 2017, in which to file amended
designations of those portions of the Dominguez'
deposition of May 23, 2017, that Plaintiffs maintained, in
light of the Court's tentative rulings, would be
admissible at trial. Defendants were to have until October
27, 2017, in which to file objections to the revisions. A
further hearing to address and rule upon the proffered
revisions would be set by further order of Court.
Plaintiffs did not comply or attempt to comply with the
Court's Dominguez' deposition revision order due on
October 20, 2017, or at all. Instead, they filed a Notice of
Motion and Motion to Modify the Scheduling Order to Allow the
Plaintiffs to File a Motion to Augment Their Expert Witness
List, or to Designate a New Expert in Exchange for the Expert
who Died; Memorandum of Points and Authorities and
Declaration of Counsel in Support Thereof ("Motion to
Modify") by which a modification of the existing
pretrial schedule was sought by Plaintiffs, inter
alia, to reopen discovery, to vacate and modify existing
(and now past) pretrial deadlines, to file a motion to
augment expert witness designations, or to be granted leave
to designate a new expert witness to substitute for Julian J.
stated by Plaintiffs for the Motion to Augment were grounded
in the argument that "further review of Mr.
Dominguez's deposition testimony [by the Plaintiffs
which] revealed that it would not be sufficient to provide
all of the opinions needed by plaintiffs in this case"
and that the deposition "only contained a portion of