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Flores v. FCA U.S. LLC

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 27, 2019

JULIAN III FLORES and ALEJANDRA FLORES, Plaintiffs,
v.
FCA U.S. LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING REQUEST TO AMEND THE WITNESS LIST SET FORTH IN THE PRETRIAL ORDER

          JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Recently, the Court issued the pretrial order in this case. (Doc. 48). In the order, the Court, for the third time, took exception to plaintiffs' counsel failure to identify witnesses by name. Id. at The Court noted,

Plaintiffs also identified “FCA's Person Most Knowledgeable” and “Lampe Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram's Person Most Qualified, Lampe CDJR, 3460 Naglee Road, Tracy, CA” as witnesses, and this is now the third time counsel has failed to identify the specific person at the relevant dealership by name. (See Durham v. FCA U.S. LLC, No. 2:17-cv-00596 JLT [Doc. 53 at 17]; Celestine v. FCA U.S. LLC, No. 2:17-cv-00597 JLT [Doc. 54 at 9]) Previously, the Court admonished the plaintiff's counsel that if he again failed to identify this witness by name, “the Court will strike the witness unless the person is identified by name or there is a showing that the plaintiff does not know the person's name.” (Celestine, Doc. 54 at 9, n.1) Once again, Plaintiffs' counsel offered no explanation why this person's name was not included in the joint pretrial report. Doubling down, now plaintiff's counsel fails to identity who the “FCA's Person most Knowledgeable.” Not only does this not comply with the Court's Local Rules, trial is not a deposition and, even if it were, plaintiff's counsel would have been obligated to identify the categories about which the witness would testify to allow FCA to determine who the proper witness would be. Accordingly, the Court accepts this as an admission that neither witness has any substantive information to add to the trial issues and neither will be permitted to testify at trial absent a showing of manifest injustice.

Id. at 10. The order continued in relevant part,

2. The court does not allow undisclosed witnesses to be called for any purpose, including impeachment or rebuttal, unless they meet the following criteria:
[¶]
b. The witness was discovered after the pretrial conference and the proffering party makes the showing required in paragraph 3, below
3. Upon the post pretrial discovery of any witness a party wishes to present at trial, the party shall promptly inform the court and opposing parties of the existence of the unlisted witness, so the court may consider whether the witness will be permitted to testify at trial. The witness will not be permitted unless:
a. The witness could not reasonably have been discovered prior to the discovery cutoff;
b. The court and opposing parties were promptly notified upon discovery of the witness;
c. If time permitted, the party proffered the witness for deposition; and
d. If time did not permit, a reasonable summary of the witness's testimony was provided to opposing parties.

Id.

         Without acknowledging the standards needed to amend the pretrial order and without attempting to meet those standards, plaintiff's counsel filed “objections” to the pretrial order identifying the specific ...


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