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Lopez v. Amerigas Propane, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

May 1, 2018

Diana Lopez, Plaintiff,
Amerigas Propane, Inc., Defendants.


          Hon. Jill L. Burkhardt United States Magistrate Judge

         Defendant's unopposed Ex Parte Application (ECF No. 7) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART at follows. The Case Management Conference pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b) previously set for May 10, 2018 is VACATED. The Court is in receipt of the parties' Joint Discovery Plan (ECF No. 6) and will issue a scheduling order consistent with the tentative schedule previously issued (see ECF No. 5 at ¶7.c.i-viii).

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Early Neutral Evaluation (“ENE”) of your case is hereby RESET and will be held on June 1, 2018, at 9:00 AM in the Chambers of Magistrate Judge Jill L. Burkhardt, Edward J. Schwartz U.S. Courthouse, 221 West Broadway, Suite 5140, San Diego, California 92101. The untimely request to reset the deadline for ENE Statements is DENIED. (See also ¶4 infra.)

         The following are mandatory directions for the parties preparing for the ENE Conference. Absent express permission obtained from this Court, and notwithstanding the pendency of any motion, counsel shall timely comply with the dates and deadlines ordered herein.

         1. Purpose of Conference:

         The purpose of the ENE Conference is to permit an informal discussion between the attorneys, parties, and the settlement judge of every aspect of the lawsuit in an effort to achieve an early resolution of the case. All ENE Conference discussions will be informal, off the record, privileged and confidential. Counsel for any non-English speaking parties is responsible for arranging for the appearance of an interpreter at the ENE Conference.

         2. Personal Appearance of Parties Required:

         All parties, adjusters for insured defendants, and other representatives of a party having full settlement authority as explained below, and the principal attorneys responsible for the litigation, must be present in person and legally and factually prepared to discuss settlement of the case. Counsel appearing without their clients (whether or not counsel has been given settlement authority) will be cause for immediate imposition of sanctions and may also result in the immediate termination of the ENE Conference. If each of the principal attorneys responsible for the litigation is not listed on the docket as an “ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED, ” then they each shall enter their appearance on the docket as soon as practicable, but in no event later than ten calendar days prior to the ENE Conference.

         Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, persons required to attend the ENE Conference pursuant to this Order shall not be excused from personal attendance.

         Requests for excuse from attendance for extraordinary circumstances shall be filed as a motion at least ten calendar days prior to the conference. Failure to appear at the ENE Conference will be grounds for sanctions.

         3. Full Settlement Authority Required:

         In addition to counsel who will try the case, a party or party representative with full settlement authority[1] must be present for the ENE Conference. In the case of an entity, an authorized representative of the entity who is not retained outside counsel must be present and must have discretionary authority to commit the entity to pay an amount up to the amount of the Plaintiff's prayer (excluding punitive damages prayers). The purpose of this requirement is to have representatives present who can settle the case during the course of the ENE Conference without consulting a superior.

         4. ENE Statements and Supplemental ENE Statements Required:

         The Court is not in receipt of Defendant's ENE Statement. ENE Statements were due to the Court by April 30, 2018. Defendant is directed that its Statement shall be lodged via email at no later than Friday, May 4, 2018, at 10:00 AM, and SHALL ADDRESS why it is being lodged after the court-ordered deadline. In addition, each party shall lodge Supplemental ENE Statements on or before May 22, 2018. The Statements shall be five pages or less and lodged directly with the chambers of Magistrate Judge Burkhardt (outlining the nature of the case, the claims, the defenses, and the parties' current positions regarding settlement of the case). The settlement position must include a specific and current demand or offer addressing all relief or remedies sought. If a specific demand or offer cannot be made at the time the brief is submitted, then the reasons therefor must be stated along with a statement as to when the party will be in a position to state a demand or offer. A general statement that a party will “negotiate in good faith, ” “offer a nominal cash sum, ” or “be prepared to make an ...

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