Desai v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, et al.

Filing 24

SCHEDULING ORDER, signed by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on 11/17/2020. Discovery Deadlines: Initial Disclosures 12/18/2020; Non-Expert 8/30/2021; Expert 11/12/2021. Mid-Discovery Status Conference set for 4/1/2021 at 08:30 AM in Bakersfi eld, 510 19th Street before Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Non-Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filed by 12/3/2021; Hearing by 1/18/2022. Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filed by 2/1/2022; Hearing by 3/15/2022. Settlement Conference set for 6/4/2021 at 01:00 PM in Bakersfield, 510 19th Street before Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Pretrial Conference set for 6/27/2022 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 5 (DAD) before District Judge Dale A. Drozd. (Hall, S)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 PRAVIN O. DESAI, Plaintiff, 11 v. 12 13 14 THE LINCOLN NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, et al., Defendants. 15 16 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 1:20-CV-00058-DAD-JLT SCHEDULING ORDER1 (Fed. R. Civ. P. 16) Discovery Deadlines: Initial Disclosures: 12/18/2020 Non-Expert: 8/30/2021 Expert: 11/12/2021 Mid-Discovery Status Conference: 4/1/2021 at 8:30 a.m. Non-Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filing: 12/3/2021 Hearing: 1/18/2022 17 18 Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filing: 2/1/2022 Hearing: 3/15/2022 19 20 21 Settlement Conference: 6/4/2021 at 1:00 p.m. 510 19th Street, Bakersfield, CA 22 23 Pre-Trial Conference: 6/27/2022 at 1:30 p.m. Courtroom 5 24 25 26 27 28 Because of this Court’s General Order 612 and because the Court finds the report adequately sets forth the information for the scheduling order, the scheduling conference is VACATED. Despite the Court’s order requiring a joint report, the plaintiff failed to contribute to the content of the scheduling report and failed to sign it. If the plaintiff believes he can ignore the Court’s orders, he is mistaken. The plaintiff is advised that further failures to comply with the Court orders will result in sanctions, including monetary sanctions and dismissal of the action. 1 1 1 I. Magistrate Judge Consent: Notice of Congested Docket and Court Policy of Trailing Due to the District Judges’ heavy caseload, the adopted policy of the Fresno Division of the 2 3 Eastern District is to trail all civil cases. The parties are hereby notified that for a trial date set before a 4 District Judge, the parties will trail indefinitely behind any higher priority criminal or older civil case 5 set on the same date until a courtroom becomes available. The trial date will not be reset. The Magistrate Judges’ availability is far more realistic and accommodating to parties than that 6 7 of the U.S. District Judges who carry the heaviest caseloads in the nation and who must prioritize 8 criminal and older civil cases over more recently filed civil cases. A United States Magistrate Judge 9 may conduct trials, including entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Federal Rule of 10 Civil Procedure 73, and Local Rule 305. Any appeal from a judgment entered by a United States 11 Magistrate Judge is taken directly to the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. The Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California, whenever possible, is utilizing United 12 13 States Article III District Court Judges from throughout the nation as Visiting Judges. Pursuant to the 14 Local Rules, Appendix A, such reassignments will be random, and the parties will receive no advance 15 notice before their case is reassigned to an Article III District Court Judge from outside of the Eastern 16 District of California. Therefore, the parties are directed to consider consenting to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction to 17 18 conduct all further proceedings, including trial. Within 10 days of the date of this order, counsel 19 SHALL file a consent/decline form (provided by the Court at the inception of this case) indicating 20 whether they will consent to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Judge. 21 II. 22 23 24 25 26 Discovery Plan and Cut-Off Date The parties are ordered to exchange the initial disclosures required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1) on or before December 18, 2020. The parties are ordered to complete all discovery pertaining to non-experts on or before August 30, 2021 and all discovery pertaining to experts on or before November 12, 2021. The parties are directed to disclose all expert witnesses, in writing, on or before September 13, 27 2021, and to disclose all rebuttal experts on or before October 13, 2021. The written designation of 28 retained and non-retained experts shall be made pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 26(a)(2), (A), (B), 2 1 and (C) and shall include all information required thereunder. Failure to designate experts in 2 compliance with this order may result in the Court excluding the testimony or other evidence offered 3 through such experts that are not disclosed pursuant to this order. The provisions of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(4) and (5) shall apply to all discovery relating to experts 4 5 and their opinions. Experts must be fully prepared to be examined on all subjects and opinions 6 included in the designation. Failure to comply will result in the imposition of sanctions, which may 7 include striking the expert designation and preclusion of expert testimony. The provisions of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(e) regarding a party's duty to timely supplement 8 9 disclosures and responses to discovery requests will be strictly enforced. A mid-discovery status conference is scheduled for April 1, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. before the 10 11 Honorable Jennifer L. Thurston, U.S. Magistrate Judge, located at 510 19th Street, Bakersfield, 12 California. Counsel SHALL file a joint mid-discovery status conference report one week before the 13 conference. Counsel also SHALL lodge the status report via e-mail to 14 The joint statement SHALL outline the discovery counsel have completed and that which needs to be 15 completed as well as any impediments to completing the discovery within the deadlines set forth in this 16 order. Counsel SHALL discuss settlement and certify that they have done so. Counsel may appear 17 via teleconference by dialing (888) 557-8511 and entering Access Code 1652736, provided the 18 Magistrate Judge's Courtroom Deputy Clerk receives a written notice of the intent to appear 19 telephonically no later than five court days before the noticed hearing date. 20 III. 21 Pre-Trial Motion Schedule All non-dispositive pre-trial motions, including any discovery motions, shall be filed no later 22 than December 3, 20212 and heard on or before January 18, 2022. Discovery motions are heard 23 before the Honorable Jennifer L. Thurston, United States Magistrate Judge at the United States 24 Courthouse in Bakersfield, California. For these hearings, counsel may appear via teleconference by 25 dialing (888) 557-8511 and entering Access Code 1652736, provided the Magistrate Judge's Courtroom 26 Deputy Clerk receives a written notice of the intent to appear telephonically no later than five court 27 28 2 Non-dispositive motions related to non-expert discovery SHALL be filed within a reasonable time of discovery of the dispute, but in no event later than 30 days after the expiration of the non-expert discovery deadline. 3 1 days before the noticed hearing date. All other non-dispositive hearings SHALL be set before Judge 2 Drozd. No motion to amend or stipulation to amend the case schedule will be entertained unless it 3 4 is filed at least one week before the first deadline the parties wish to extend. Likewise, no written 5 discovery motions shall be filed without the prior approval of the assigned Magistrate Judge. A party 6 with a discovery dispute must first confer with the opposing party in a good faith effort to resolve by 7 agreement the issues in dispute. If that good faith effort is unsuccessful, the moving party promptly 8 shall seek a telephonic hearing with all involved parties and the Magistrate Judge. It shall be the 9 obligation of the moving party to arrange and originate the conference call to the court. To schedule 10 this telephonic hearing, the parties are ordered to contact the Courtroom Deputy Clerk, Susan Hall, at 11 (661) 326-6620 or via email at Counsel must comply with Local Rule 251 12 with respect to discovery disputes or the motion will be denied without prejudice and dropped 13 from the Court’s calendar. All dispositive pre-trial motions shall be filed no later than February 1, 2022 and heard no later 14 15 than March 15, 2022, in Courtroom 5 at 9:30 a.m. before the Honorable Dale A. Drozd, United States 16 District Court Judge. In scheduling such motions, counsel shall comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 and 17 Local Rules 230 and 260. 18 IV. Motions for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication 19 At least 21 days before filing a motion for summary judgment or motion for summary 20 adjudication, the parties are ORDERED to meet, in person or by telephone, to confer about the issues 21 to be raised in the motion. 22 The purpose of the meeting shall be to: 1) avoid filing motions for summary judgment where a 23 question of fact exists; 2) determine whether the respondent agrees that the motion has merit in whole 24 or in part; 3) discuss whether issues can be resolved without the necessity of briefing; 4) narrow the 25 issues for review by the court; 5) explore the possibility of settlement before the parties incur the 26 expense of briefing a motion; and 6) to develop a joint statement of undisputed facts. 27 28 The moving party SHALL initiate the meeting and SHALL provide a complete, proposed statement of undisputed facts at least five days before the conference. The finalized joint statement of 4 1 undisputed facts SHALL include all facts that the parties agree, for purposes of the motion, may be 2 deemed true. In addition to the requirements of Local Rule 260, the moving party shall file the joint 3 statement of undisputed facts. In the notice of motion the moving party SHALL certify that the parties have met and conferred 4 5 as ordered above, or set forth a statement of good cause for the failure to meet and confer. Failure to 6 comply may result in the motion being stricken. 7 V. Pre-Trial Conference Date 8 June 27, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 5 before Judge Drozd. 9 The parties are ordered to file a Joint Pretrial Statement pursuant to Local Rule 281(a)(2). 10 The parties are further directed to submit a digital copy of their pretrial statement in Word format, 11 directly to Judge Drozd's chambers, by email at Counsels' attention is directed to Rules 281 and 282 of the Local Rules of Practice for the 12 13 Eastern District of California, as to the obligations of counsel in preparing for the pre-trial conference. 14 The Court will insist upon strict compliance with those rules. In addition to the matters set forth in the 15 Local Rules the Joint Pretrial Statement shall include a Joint Statement of the case to be used by the 16 Court to explain the nature of the case to the jury during voir dire. 17 VI. 18 19 20 Settlement Conference A settlement conference is scheduled for June 4, 2021 at 1:00 p.m., located at 510 19th Street, Bakersfield, California. Unless otherwise permitted in advance by the Court, the attorneys/parties who will try the 21 case shall appear at the Settlement Conference with the parties and the person or persons having 22 full authority to negotiate and settle the case on any reasonable terms3discussed at the conference. 23 Consideration of settlement is a serious matter that requires preparation prior to the settlement 24 conference. Set forth below are the procedures the Court will employ, absent good cause, in 25 conducting the conference. 26 At least 21 days before the settlement conference, Plaintiff SHALL submit to Defendant via 27 28 3 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 may be represented by a person whose recommendations about settlement are relied upon by the ultimate decision makers. 5 1 fax or e-mail, a written itemization of damages and a meaningful4 settlement demand which includes a 2 brief explanation of why such a settlement is appropriate. Thereafter, no later than 14 days before the 3 settlement conference, Defendant SHALL respond via fax or e-mail, with an acceptance of the offer or 4 with a meaningful counteroffer, which includes a brief explanation of why such a settlement is 5 appropriate. The parties SHALL continue to exchange counteroffers until it is no longer 6 productive. 7 If settlement is not achieved, each party SHALL attach copies of their settlement offers to 8 their Confidential Settlement Conference Statement, as described below. Copies of these documents 9 shall not be filed on the court docket. CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE STATEMENT 10 11 At least five court days before the settlement conference, the parties shall submit, directly to 12 Judge Thurston's chambers by e-mail to, a Confidential Settlement 13 Conference Statement. The statement should not be filed with the Clerk of the Court nor served on 14 any other party, although the parties may file a Notice of Lodging of Settlement Conference 15 Statement. Each statement shall be clearly marked "confidential" with the date and time of the 16 Settlement Conference indicated prominently thereon. 17 The Confidential Settlement Conference Statement shall include the following: 18 A. A brief statement of the facts of the case. 19 B. A brief statement of the claims and defenses, i.e., statutory or other grounds upon 20 which the claims are founded; a forthright evaluation of the parties' likelihood of 21 prevailing on the claims and defenses; and a description of the major issues in dispute. 22 C. A summary of the proceedings to date. 23 D. An estimate of the cost/ time to be expended for further discovery, pretrial and trial. 24 E. The relief sought. 25 F. The party's position on settlement, including present demands and offers and a history 26 27 28 4 “Meaningful” means the offer is reasonably calculated to settle the case on terms acceptable to the offering party. “Meaningful” does not include an offer which the offering party knows will not be acceptable to the other party. If, however, the offering party is only willing to offer a settlement which it knows the other party will not accept, this should trigger a recognition the case is not in a settlement posture and the parties should confer about continuing the settlement conference via stipulation. 6 of past settlement discussions, offers and demands. 1 2 VII. 3 Request for Bifurcation, Appointment of Special Master, or other Techniques to Shorten Trial 4 Not applicable at this time. 5 VIII. Related Matters Pending There are no pending related matters. 6 7 IX. All counsel are expected to familiarize themselves with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8 9 Compliance with Federal Procedure and the Local Rules of Practice of the Eastern District of California, and to keep abreast of any 10 amendments thereto. The Court must insist upon compliance with these Rules if it is to efficiently 11 handle its increasing case load and sanctions will be imposed for failure to follow both the Federal 12 Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of Practice for the Eastern District of California. 13 X. Effect of this Order The foregoing order represents the best estimate of the court and counsel as to the agenda most 14 15 suitable to dispose of this case. The trial date reserved is specifically reserved for this case. If the 16 parties determine at any time that the schedule outlined in this order cannot be met, counsel are ordered 17 to notify the court immediately of that fact so that adjustments may be made, either by stipulation or by 18 subsequent status conference. The dates set in this order are firm and will not be modified absent a showing of good 19 20 cause even if the request to modify is made by stipulation. Stipulations extending the deadlines 21 contained herein will not be considered unless they are accompanied by affidavits or declarations, 22 and where appropriate attached exhibits, which establish good cause for granting the relief 23 requested. 24 /// 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 7 1 Failure to comply with this order may result in the imposition of sanctions. 2 3 4 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: November 17, 2020 /s/ Jennifer L. Thurston UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 8

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?