United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART APPELLANT'S ADMINISTRATIVE
MOTION FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE OPENING BRIEF RE:
DKT. NO. 6
Gonzalez Rogers United States District Court Judge
Court has received and reviewed parties six filings related
to this matter. (Dkt. Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.) As noted
in the Guidelines for Professional Conduct adopted by this
Court, “[l]awyers owe a duty of professionalism to
their clients, opposing parties and their counsel, the
courts, and the public as a whole.” Guidelines for
Professional Conduct, U.S. District Court, Northern District
These Guidelines specifically instruct that “a lawyer
should agree to reasonable requests for extensions of time
when the legitimate interests of his or her client will not
be adversely affected.” Id. ¶ 4.
Counsel's failure to resolve this issue without Court
intervention is disappointing and warrants self-reflection
and, likely, further submissions to the Court.
given the timeliness of the issue, the Court first finds
appellants' request for an extension of the deadline to
file their opening brief reasonable in light of counsel's
need to return to Michigan from July 28, 2019 through August
19, 2019 to bury her deceased father and care for her
wheelchair-bound mother, especially in light of her status as
a solo practitioner. That said, counsel did, in fact, know in
advance of the conflict and could have done better in
managing her deadlines.
the Court turns to whether appellee would suffer prejudice or
otherwise be adversely affected by the requested extension.
(See Dkt. Nos. 6, 8, 10.) In opposition to appellants'
motion, Mr. Fong asserts that prejudice will befall appellee
Sarah-Jane Parker due to unwarranted delay if the Court
grants appellants' request. (Dkt. No. 7.) However, the
only basis Mr. Fong provides for such prejudice is his own
travel plans. (Id. at ECF 2-3 (“Parker's
lead counsel Marc Fong will be out of the country and
essentially unreachable from October 10, 2019 through October
28, 2019, hiking in a remote area of Spain[.]”).) Mr.
Fong further contends that he “will need time to
recover from the effort[, ]” presumably of the
aforementioned hiking, “and from jet lag after
returning to the US.” (Id.) Based thereupon,
Mr. Fong argues that he will have “virtually no
time” during the 30 days starting October 4, 2019 to
prepare appellee's response to appellant's opening
brief as well as appellee's opening brief on
cross-appeal. (Id. at 3.) The Court struggles
to see why it should afford greater weight and value to Mr.
Fong's planned vacation. Work requirements fluctuate and
can be exchanged.
supplemental declaration, Mr. Fong points to a No. of other
actions, including one set for trial in February 2020, which
he expects will demand so much of his attention that he will
not have sufficient time to “do a professional job of
evaluating appellants' opening brief, writing
Parker's cross-appeal brief, and then responding to
opposition[.]” (Dkt. No. 11 at ECF 2-3.) He further
asserts that granting appellants' request would
“have a cascading effect on all the attorneys in this
case, their clients, the other attorneys involved in other
cases being handled by [Mr. Fong] and [his] firm, and the
courts involved in those other cases.” (Id. at
ECF 1-2.) The Court understands and is familiar with the
difficulty of addressing multiple cases at once and would is
willing to extend the deadline for appellee's opposition
and cross-brief. Accordingly, the Court finds that appellee
would not be adversely affected by its granting
appellants' request for an extension to such an extent
that the request should not be granted.
Court Grants appellants' request and Extends the deadline
for appellants to file their opening brief to Monday,
September 2, 2019. As the brief will be filed electronically,
the fact that day is a legal holiday does not prohibit the
timely filing. Appellee's response shall be due October
Order terminates Docket Number 6.
Is So Ordered.
 As a preliminary matter, the Court
notes that appellant's motion (Dkt. No. 6) and replies
(Dkt. Nos. 8, 10) take the form of declarations rather than a
motion and replies filed in support thereof. Moreover, the
Court reminds parties that the Local Rules provide only for
administrative motions and oppositions thereto, and could
therefore strike the filings at Docket No. eight through
eleven as filed in violation of the Rules and without leave
of court. See Civil L.R. 7-11(b). However, in the interest of
judicial efficiency, the Court will consider all documents
 The Court notes that appellee's
suggestion that appellants file their opening brief no later
than August 26, 2019 would similarly provide appellant
counsel with “virtually no time[, ]” in light of