Hernandez et al v. Lowe's Home Centers, LLC et al

Filing 15

SCHEDULING ORDER, signed by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on 11/20/2020. Pleading Amendment Deadline 3/24/2021. Discovery Deadlines: Initial Disclosures 12/4/2020; Non-Expert 5/24/2021; Expert 8/6/2021. Mid-Discovery Status Conference set for 2/22/2021 at 08:30 AM in Bakersfield, 510 19th Street before Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Non-Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filed by 8/24/2021; Hearing by 9/21/2021. Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filed by 10/5/2021; Hearing by 11/2/2 021. Settlement Conference set for 1/21/2022 at 09:00 AM in Bakersfield, 510 19th Street before Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Pretrial Conference set for 3/14/2022 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 5 (DAD) before District Judge Dale A. Drozd. (Hall, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 LORRAINE HERNANDEZ, et al., Plaintiffs, 12 13 v. 14 LOWES HOME CENTERS, LLC, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 Case No.: 1:20-CV-1227 - DAD - JLT ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) SCHEDULING ORDER1 (Fed. R. Civ. P. 16) Pleading Amendment Deadline: 3/24/2021 Discovery Deadlines: Initial Disclosures: 12/4/2020 Non-Expert: 5/24/2021 Expert: 8/6/2021 Mid-Discovery Status Conference: 2/22/2021 at 8:30 a.m. 17 Non-Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filing: 8/24/2021 Hearing: 9/21/2021 18 19 Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filing: 10/5/2021 Hearing: 11/2/2021 20 21 22 Settlement Conference: 1/21/2022 at 9:00 a.m. 510 19th Street, Bakersfield, CA 23 24 Pre-Trial Conference: 3/14/2022 at 1:30 p.m. Courtroom 5 25 26 27 28 1 The Court finds the information provided by the parties in their Joint Scheduling Report and worksheet (Doc. 10) sufficient to schedule the matter without a hearing. Thus, the scheduling conference set for November 24, 2020 is VACATED. 1 1 I. Magistrate Judge Consent: 2 Notice of Congested Docket and Court Policy of Trailing 3 Due to the District Judges’ heavy caseload, the adopted policy of the Fresno Division of the 4 Eastern District is to trail all civil cases. The parties are hereby notified that for a trial date set before a 5 District Judge, the parties will trail indefinitely behind any higher priority criminal or older civil case 6 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 7 8 of the U.S. District Judges who carry the heaviest caseloads in the nation and who must prioritize 9 criminal and older civil cases over more recently filed civil cases. A United States Magistrate Judge 10 may conduct trials, including entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Federal Rule of 11 Civil Procedure 73, and Local Rule 305. Any appeal from a judgment entered by a United States 12 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 13 14 States Article III District Court Judges from throughout the nation as Visiting Judges. Pursuant to the 15 Local Rules, Appendix A, such reassignments will be random, and the parties will receive no advance 16 notice before their case is reassigned to an Article III District Court Judge from outside of the Eastern 17 District of California. Therefore, the parties are directed to consider consenting to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction to 18 19 conduct all further proceedings, including trial. Within 10 days of the date of this order, counsel 20 SHALL file a consent/decline form (provided by the Court at the inception of this case) indicating 21 whether they will consent to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Judge 22 II. Pleading Amendment Deadline Any requested pleading amendments are ordered to be filed, either through a stipulation or 23 24 motion to amend, no later than March 24, 2021. Any motion to amend the pleadings shall be heard by 25 the Honorable Dale A. Drozd, United States District Court Judge. 26 III. 27 28 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 4, 2020. 2 The parties are ordered to complete all discovery pertaining to non-experts on or before May 24, 1 2 2021 and all discovery pertaining to experts on or before August 6, 2021. The parties are directed to disclose all expert witnesses2, in writing, on or before June 7, 2021, 3 4 and to disclose all rebuttal experts on or before July 9, 2021. The written designation of retained and 5 non-retained experts shall be made pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 26(a)(2), (A), (B), and (C) and 6 shall include all information required thereunder. Failure to designate experts in compliance with 7 this order may result in the Court excluding the testimony or other evidence offered through such 8 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 9 10 and their opinions. Experts must be fully prepared to be examined on all subjects and opinions 11 included in the designation. Failure to comply will result in the imposition of sanctions, which may 12 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 13 14 disclosures and responses to discovery requests will be strictly enforced. A mid-discovery status conference is scheduled for February 22, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. before the 15 16 Honorable Jennifer L. Thurston, U.S. Magistrate Judge, located at 510 19th Street, Bakersfield, 17 California. Counsel SHALL file a joint mid-discovery status conference report one week before the 18 conference. Counsel also SHALL lodge the status report via e-mail to JLTorders@caed.uscourts.gov. 19 The joint statement SHALL outline the discovery counsel have completed and that which needs to be 20 completed as well as any impediments to completing the discovery within the deadlines set forth in this 21 order. Counsel SHALL discuss settlement and certify that they have done so. Counsel may appear via 22 teleconference by dialing (888) 557-8511 and entering Access Code 1652736, provided the Magistrate 23 Judge's Courtroom Deputy Clerk receives a written notice of the intent to appear telephonically no later 24 than five court days before the noticed hearing date. 25 IV. 26 Pre-Trial Motion Schedule All non-dispositive pre-trial motions, including any discovery motions, shall be filed no later 27 28 2 In the event an expert will offer opinions related to an independent medical or mental health evaluation, the examination SHALL occur sufficiently in advance of the disclosure deadline, so the expert’s report fully details the expert’s opinions in this regard. 3 1 than August 24, 20213 and heard on or before September 21, 2021. Discovery motions are heard 2 before the Honorable Jennifer L. Thurston, United States Magistrate Judge at the United States 3 Courthouse in Bakersfield, California. For these hearings, counsel may appear via teleconference by 4 dialing (888) 557-8511 and entering Access Code 1652736, provided the Magistrate Judge's Courtroom 5 Deputy Clerk receives a written notice of the intent to appear telephonically no later than five court 6 days before the noticed hearing date. All other non-dispositive hearings SHALL be set before Judge 7 Drozd. No motion to amend or stipulation to amend the case schedule will be entertained unless it 8 9 is filed at least one week before the first deadline the parties wish to extend. Likewise, no written 10 discovery motions shall be filed without the prior approval of the assigned Magistrate Judge. A party 11 with a discovery dispute must first confer with the opposing party in a good faith effort to resolve by 12 agreement the issues in dispute. If that good faith effort is unsuccessful, the moving party promptly 13 shall seek a telephonic hearing with all involved parties and the Magistrate Judge. It shall be the 14 obligation of the moving party to arrange and originate the conference call to the court. To schedule 15 this telephonic hearing, the parties are ordered to contact the Courtroom Deputy Clerk, Susan Hall, at 16 (661) 326-6620 or via email at SHall@caed.uscourts.gov. Counsel must comply with Local Rule 251 17 with respect to discovery disputes or the motion will be denied without prejudice and dropped 18 from the Court’s calendar. All dispositive pre-trial motions shall be filed no later than October 5, 2021, and heard no later 19 20 than November 2, 2021, in Courtroom 5 at 9:30 a.m. before the Honorable Dale A. Drozd, United 21 States District Court Judge. In scheduling such motions, counsel shall comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 22 and Local Rules 230 and 260. 23 V. Motions for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication 24 At least 21 days before filing a motion for summary judgment or motion for summary 25 adjudication, the parties are ORDERED to meet, in person or by telephone, to confer about the issues 26 to be raised in the motion. 27 28 3 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. 4 1 The purpose of the meeting shall be to: 1) avoid filing motions for summary judgment where a 2 question of fact exists; 2) determine whether the respondent agrees that the motion has merit in whole 3 or in part; 3) discuss whether issues can be resolved without the necessity of briefing; 4) narrow the 4 issues for review by the court; 5) explore the possibility of settlement before the parties incur the 5 expense of briefing a motion; and 6) to develop a joint statement of undisputed facts. The moving party SHALL initiate the meeting and SHALL provide a complete, proposed 6 7 statement of undisputed facts at least five days before the conference. The finalized joint statement of 8 undisputed facts SHALL include all facts that the parties agree, for purposes of the motion, may be 9 deemed true. In addition to the requirements of Local Rule 260, the moving party shall file the joint 10 statement of undisputed facts. In the notice of motion, the moving party SHALL certify that the parties have met and 11 12 conferred as ordered above or set forth a statement of good cause for the failure to meet and confer. 13 Failure to comply may result in the motion being stricken. 14 VI. Pre-Trial Conference Date 15 March 14, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 5 before Judge Drozd. 16 The parties are ordered to file a Joint Pretrial Statement pursuant to Local Rule 281(a)(2). 17 The parties are further directed to submit a digital copy of their pretrial statement in Word format, 18 directly to Judge Drozd's chambers, by email at DADorders@caed.uscourts.gov. Counsels' attention is directed to Rules 281 and 282 of the Local Rules of Practice for the 19 20 Eastern District of California, as to the obligations of counsel in preparing for the pre-trial conference. 21 The Court will insist upon strict compliance with those rules. In addition to the matters set forth in the 22 Local Rules the Joint Pretrial Statement shall include a Joint Statement of the case to be used by the 23 Court to explain the nature of the case to the jury during voir dire. 24 VII. 25 26 27 28 Settlement Conference A settlement conference is scheduled for January 21, 2022 at 9:00 a.m., located at 510 19th Street, Bakersfield, California. Unless otherwise permitted in advance by the Court, the attorneys who will try the case shall appear at the Settlement Conference with the parties and the person or persons having full 5 1 authority to negotiate and settle the case on any reasonable terms4 discussed at the conference. 2 Consideration of settlement is a serious matter that requires preparation prior to the settlement 3 conference. Set forth below are the procedures the Court will employ, absent good cause, in 4 conducting the conference. 5 At least 21 days before the settlement conference, Plaintiff SHALL submit to Defendant via 6 fax or e-mail, a written itemization of damages and a meaningful5 settlement demand which includes a 7 brief explanation of why such a settlement is appropriate. Thereafter, no later than 14 days before the 8 settlement conference, Defendant SHALL respond via fax or e-mail, with an acceptance of the offer or 9 with a meaningful counteroffer, which includes a brief explanation of why such a settlement is 10 appropriate. The parties SHALL continue to exchange counteroffers until it is no longer 11 productive. 12 If settlement is not achieved, each party SHALL attach copies of their settlement offers to 13 their Confidential Settlement Conference Statement, as described below. Copies of these documents 14 shall not be filed on the court docket. CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE STATEMENT 15 16 At least five court days before the settlement conference, the parties shall submit, directly to 17 Judge Thurston's chambers by e-mail to JLTOrders@caed.uscourts.gov, a Confidential Settlement 18 Conference Statement. The statement should not be filed with the Clerk of the Court nor served on 19 any other party, although the parties may file a Notice of Lodging of Settlement Conference 20 Statement. Each statement shall be clearly marked "confidential" with the date and time of the 21 Settlement Conference indicated prominently thereon. 22 The Confidential Settlement Conference Statement shall include the following: 23 A. A brief statement of the facts of the case. 24 25 26 27 28 4 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 “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 B. 1 A brief statement of the claims and defenses, i.e., statutory or other grounds upon 2 which the claims are founded; a forthright evaluation of the parties' likelihood of 3 prevailing on the claims and defenses; and a description of the major issues in dispute. 4 C. A summary of the proceedings to date. 5 D. An estimate of the cost and time to be expended for further discovery, pretrial and trial. 6 E. The relief sought. 7 F. The party's position on settlement, including present demands and offers and a history of past settlement discussions, offers and demands. 8 9 VIII. Request for Bifurcation, Appointment of Special Master, or other 10 Techniques to Shorten Trial 11 Not applicable at this time. 12 IX. There are no pending related matters. 13 14 Related Matters Pending X. Compliance with Federal Procedure All counsel are expected to familiarize themselves with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 15 16 and the Local Rules of Practice of the Eastern District of California, and to keep abreast of any 17 amendments thereto. The Court must insist upon compliance with these Rules if it is to efficiently 18 handle its increasing case load and sanctions will be imposed for failure to follow both the Federal 19 Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of Practice for the Eastern District of California. 20 XI. 21 Effect of this Order The foregoing order represents the best estimate of the court and counsel as to the agenda most 22 suitable to dispose of this case. The trial date reserved is specifically reserved for this case. If the 23 parties determine at any time that the schedule outlined in this order cannot be met, counsel are ordered 24 to notify the court immediately of that fact so that adjustments may be made, either by stipulation or by 25 subsequent status conference. 26 The dates set in this order are firm and will not be modified absent a showing of good 27 cause even if the request to modify is made by stipulation. Stipulations extending the deadlines 28 contained herein will not be considered unless they are accompanied by affidavits or declarations, 7 1 and where appropriate attached exhibits, which establish good cause for granting the relief 2 requested. 3 Failure to comply with this order may result in the imposition of sanctions. 4 5 6 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: November 20, 2020 /s/ Jennifer L. Thurston UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 8

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