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R.N. v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. California

November 9, 2017

R.N., a minor by and through his guardian ad litem Elizabeth Neel, Plaintiff,
United States of America; Rosanne Estropia, an individual; Solodad Dith, an individual; Debbie Tenley, an individual; Catherine Prestonise, an individual; Zeny, an individual; Sarah, an individual; Does 1 through 25 inclusive, Defendants.



         Before the Court is a Joint Motion to Continue Hearing (ECF No. 10) submitted on November 8, 2017. Previously, the Court set an Early Neutral Evaluation Conference for December 8, 2017. (ECF No. 6.) Due to Plaintiff's counsel's preplanned vacation from December 4, 2017 to December 13, 2017, the parties request a continuance of the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference until February 2, 2018 or on a date as soon thereafter as may be scheduled. (ECF No. 10 at 1-2.) Accordingly, good cause appearing, the parties' Joint Motion to Continue Hearing (ECF No. 10) is GRANTED.

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that an Early Neutral Evaluation of your case will be held on February 2, 2018, at 1:30 PM before United States Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal, United States District Court, 333 W. Broadway, Suite 1280, San Diego, California.

         The following are mandatory guidelines for the parties preparing for the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference.

         1. Purpose of Conference: The purpose of the Early Neutral Evaluation Conference (“ENE”) is to hold a serious discussion of every aspect of the lawsuit in an effort to achieve an early resolution of the case. All conference discussions will be off the record, privileged and confidential. Counsel for any non-English speaking party is responsible for arranging for the appearance of an interpreter at the conference.

         2. Personal Appearance of Parties Is Required: All parties, adjusters for insured defendants, and client representatives must be present and have full and complete authority to enter into a binding settlement at the ENE.[1] The purpose of this requirement is to have representatives present who can settle the case during the course of the conference without consulting a superior. Counsel for a government entity may be excused from this requirement so long as the government attorney who attends the ENE conference (1) has primary responsibility for handling the case; and (2) may negotiate settlement offers which the attorney is willing to recommend to the government official having ultimate settlement authority. Other parties seeking permission to be excused from attending the ENE in person must follow the procedures outlined in Judge Skomal's Chambers' Rules. (See Judge Skomal's Chambers' Rules at p. 3, section C.) Failure of any of the above parties to appear at the ENE conference without the Court's permission will be grounds for sanctions. The principal attorneys responsible for the litigation must also be present in person and prepared to discuss all of the legal and factual issues in the case.

         3. Confidential ENE Statements Required: No later than January 19, 2018, the parties must submit confidential statements of seven pages or less directly to Judge Skomal. Please also attach relevant exhibits. The statement must address the legal and factual issues in the case and should focus on issues most pertinent to settling the matter. The statement should not repeat facts or law contained in the Complaint or Answer. Statements do not need to be filed or served on opposing counsel. The statement must also include any prior settlement offer or demand, as well as the offer or demand the party will make at the ENE. The Court will keep this information confidential unless the party authorizes the Court to share the information with opposing counsel. ENE statements must be emailed to

         4. New Parties Must Be Notified by Plaintiff's Counsel: Plaintiff's counsel shall give notice of the ENE to parties responding to the complaint after the date of this notice.

         5. Case Management Conference: Any objections made to initial disclosure pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A)-(D) are overruled, and the parties are ordered to proceed with the initial disclosure process. Any further objections to initial disclosure will be resolved as required by Rule 26 and Judge Skomal's Chambers' Rules regarding discovery disputes. Accordingly:

a. The Rule 26(f) conference shall be completed on or before January 5, 2018;
b. The date of initial disclosure pursuant to Rule 26(a)(1)(A-D) shall occur before January 12, 2018;
c. A Joint Discovery Plan shall be filed on the CM/ECF system as well as lodged with Magistrate Judge Skomal by delivering the plan directly to chambers or by emailing it to, on or before January 19, 2018. The plan must be one document and must explicitly cover the parties' views and proposals for each item identified in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f)(3). In addition, Judge Skomal requires the discovery plan to identify whether the parties will consent to jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge. Agreements made in the Discovery Plan will be treated as binding stipulations that are effectively incorporated into the Court's Case Management Order.

         In cases involving significant document production or any electronic discovery, the parties must also include the process and procedure for “claw back” or “quick peek” agreements as contemplated by Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d). The parties should also address whether an order providing for protection under Rule 502(e) is needed.

         Finally, the parties must thoughtfully meet and confer about electronic discovery and include answers to the ...

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