United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER FOLLOWING SHOW CAUSE HEARING: (1) IMPOSING
SANCTIONS; AND (2) SETTING FOLLOW-UP SETTLEMENT
Honorable Linda Lopez, United States Magistrate Judge
December 18, 2019, the Court issued an Order to Show Cause as
to why sanctions should not be imposed on Plaintiff for
Plaintiff's failure to appear in-person at the December
16, 2019 Early Neutral Evaluation (“ENE”). ECF
No. 10. On January 9, 2020, the Court held the Show Cause
Hearing. ECF No. 18.
considering the filings submitted by counsel for the Parties
([ECF Nos. 12-15]), the Court concludes that Plaintiff should
be sanctioned in the amount, and for the reasons, set forth
November 4, 2019, the Court issued a Notice and Order for an
Early Neutral Evaluation to be held on December 16, 2019 at
9:30 a.m. ECF No. 3. The ENE Notice required that all parties
and the principal attorneys responsible for the litigation
attend the ENE.
the ENE Notice stated:
Personal Appearance of Parties Required: All
parties, adjusters for insured parties, and other
representatives of a party having full and complete authority
to enter into a binding settlement, 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 conference . . . .
Unless there is good cause, persons required to attend the
conference pursuant to this Order shall not be excused from
personal attendance. In and of itself, having to travel a
long distance to appear in person is not “good
cause.” Motions seeking a waiver of the personal
appearance requirement must establish good cause and be filed
at least seven (7) days prior to the conference. Failure to
appear at the ENE conference will be grounds for sanctions.
Id. at 2.
December 12, 2019, after reviewing Plaintiff's
Confidential Statement, the Court issued an Order denying
Plaintiff's request to be excused from appearing
in-person at the ENE (to the extent Plaintiff was making such
a request). ECF No. 7 at 1. The Court's Order made it
clear that Plaintiff was expected to appear in-person.
December 16, 2019, the Court attempted to convene an ENE as
scheduled. ECF No. 8. Plaintiff failed to appear. For these
reasons, on December 18, 2019, the Court issued an Order to
Show Cause as to why Plaintiff should not be sanctioned. ECF
December 20, 2019, Plaintiff's counsel submitted
declarations in response to the Court's Order. ECF Nos.
12-13. On December 23, 2019, Defendant filed a response. ECF
No. 14. On December 23, 2019, Plaintiff's counsel filed
an amended declaration. ECF No. 15. Plaintiff did not submit
a declaration. See Docket.