Burghardt-Cobb v. Inch

Filing 67

ORDER SETTING SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE AND PRETRIAL CONFERENCE; Order signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 4/27/2021. Pre-Settlement Conference set for 6/15/2021 at 04:00 PM in Courtroom 7 (SKO) before Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto, Settlement Conference set for 6/24/2021 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 7 (SKO) before Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto, Pretrial Conference set for 8/9/2021 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 5 (DAD) before District Judge Dale A. Drozd. (Kusamura, W)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 7 8 KATHLEEN BURGHARDT-COBB, Plaintiff, ORDER SETTING SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE AND PRETRIAL CONFERENCE 9 v. 10 11 Case No. 1:17-cv-01563-DAD-SKO MARK S. INCH, Defendant. 12 _____________________________________/ 13 14 15 16 17 18 The Court held a telephonic conference on April 27, 2021. Kevin Little, Esq., appeared on behalf of Plaintiff. Benjamin Hall, Esq., appeared behalf of Defendant. As discussed with the parties, the Court hereby SETS a Settlement Conference for June 24, 2021, at 10:00 A.M. before Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto. The Court further SETS the Pretrial Conference for August 9, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. before 19 District Judge Dale A. Drozd. 20 Consideration of settlement is a serious matter that requires thorough preparation prior to 21 the settlement conference. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 22 23 1. Pre-settlement Conference Exchange of Demand and Offer 24 As discussed with the parties during the telephonic pre-settlement conference, a settlement 25 conference is more likely to be productive if, before the conference, the parties exchange written 26 settlement proposals. Accordingly, at least 5 weeks prior to the settlement conference, counsel for 27 plaintiff shall submit an updated written itemization of damages and settlement demand to defense 28 counsel with a brief summary of the legal and factual basis supporting the demand. No later than 1 4 weeks prior to the settlement conference, defense counsel shall submit a written offer to counsel 2 for plaintiff with a brief summary of the legal and factual basis supporting the offer. 3 The parties shall continue to meet and confer thereafter to attempt to compromise 4 regarding their respective positions, so as to assist with ensuring that the settlement conference 5 will be productive. 6 2. 7 The parties are to send Confidential Settlement Conference Statements (Settlement 8 Statement) to the following email address: SKOorders@caed.uscourts.gov, to arrive no later than 9 fourteen (14) days before the conference. Submission and Content of Confidential Settlement Conference Statements Each statement shall be clearly marked 10 “CONFIDENTIAL” with the date and time of the mandatory settlement conference indicated 11 prominently. 12 Conference Statement (See L.R. 270 (d)). Each party shall also file a Notice of Submission of Confidential Settlement 13 If the Settlement Conference is continued for any reason, each party must submit a new 14 Settlement Statement that is complete in itself, without reference to any prior Settlement 15 Statements. 16 17 Each Settlement Statement shall include the following: a. 18 evaluation of the parties’ likelihood of prevailing on the claims and 19 20 21 defenses, and a description of the major issues in dispute. b. A summary of the proceedings to date. c. An estimate of the cost and time to be expended for further discovery, 22 23 24 25 26 27 A brief summary of the core facts, allegations, and defenses, a forthright pretrial, and trial. d. The nature of the relief sought. e. An outline of past settlement efforts including information regarding the "Pre-settlement Conference Exchange of Demand and Offer" required above—including the itemization of damages—and a history of past settlement discussions, offers, and demands. 28 2 1 f. 2 A statement of each party’s expectations and goals for the Settlement Conference. 3 3. 4 The attorneys who will try the case and parties with full and complete settlement authority Attendance of Trial Counsel and Parties Required 5 are required to personally attend the conference.1 6 representative of the insurer who is authorized to negotiate, and who has full authority to negotiate 7 and settle the case. An uninsured corporate party shall appear by a representative authorized to 8 negotiate, and who has full authority to negotiate and settle the case. It is difficult for a party who 9 is not present to appreciate the process and the reasons that may justify a change in one’s 10 perspective toward settlement. Accordingly, having a client with authority available by telephone 11 is not an acceptable alternative, except under the most extenuating circumstances.2 An insured party shall appear by a 12 In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the resulting courthouse restrictions, 13 see General Orders Nos. 612–618, the Court will revisit the in-person requirement closer to the 14 date of the settlement conference and reserves the right to modify the requirement depending upon 15 the courthouse restrictions, if any, in place as of June 24, 2021. The parties are advised that while 16 the courthouse restrictions pursuant to General Order No. 618 are in place, Zoom videoconference 17 settlement conferences are available. At the June 15, 2021, Pre-Settlement Conference, (see 18 paragraph 6 below), the parties should be prepared to discuss the method of conducting the 19 20 21 settlement conference and whether the settlement conference should proceed on June 24, 2021. If the parties opt to conduct the settlement conference by Zoom videoconference, the Court will provide the call-in information closer to the time of the settlement conference. 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 The Court expects both the lawyers and the party representatives to be fully prepared to participate. The Court encourages all parties to keep an open mind in order to reassess their previous positions and to discover creative means for resolving the dispute. /// 1 Insurance carriers, business organizations, and governmental bodies or agencies whose settlement agreements are subject to approval by legislative bodies, executive committees, boards of directors or the like shall be represented by a person or persons who occupy high executive positions in the party organization and who will be directly involved in the process of approval of any settlement offers or agreements. 2 Out of town or out of state travel and the purchase of an airplane ticket are not extenuating circumstances. 3 1 4. 2 The parties shall be prepared to discuss the following at the settlement conference: 3 Issues to Be Discussed a. Goals in the litigation and problems they would like to address in the settlement conference and understanding of the opposing side’s goals. 4 5 b. The issues (in and outside the lawsuit) that need to be resolved. 6 c. The strengths and weaknesses of their case. 7 d. Their understanding of the opposing side’s view of the case. 8 e. Their points of agreement and disagreement (factual and legal). 9 f. Any financial, emotional, and/or legal impediments to settlement. 10 g. Whether settlement or further litigation better enables the accomplishment 11 of their respective goals. 12 h. Any possibilities for a creative resolution of the dispute. 13 5. 14 The parties are expected to address each other with courtesy and respect and are 15 encouraged to be frank and open in their discussions. Statements made by any party during the 16 settlement conference are not to be used in discovery and will not be admissible at trial. Statements Inadmissible 17 6. 18 Prior to the Settlement Conference, Magistrate Judge Oberto will hold a brief, telephonic 19 20 Pre-Settlement Telephonic Conference discussion on June 15, 2021, at 4:00 PM (dial-in number: 1-888-557-8511; passcode: 6208204#). Only attorneys and unrepresented parties are required to participate in the conference. 21 22 23 24 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 27, 2021 /s/ Sheila K. Oberto UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 25 26 27 28 4 .

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