Doe v. Biotronik, Inc.

Filing 116

ORDER denying 114 Ex Parte Application, filed by Biotronik, Inc. to continue hearing on 113 MOTION to COMPEL Production of Defendant's Relevant Billing Records. However, given that no joint statement re: discovery dispute has been timely filed, the hearing is CONTINUED to 3/18/2015 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 8 (EFB) before Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan. The Joint Statement is due 3/11/15. Signed by Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan on 3/5/15. (Hinkle, T)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; THE STATES OF ARKANSAS, CALIFORNIA, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, HAWAII, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, LOUISIANA, MICHIGAN, MASSACHUSETTS, MONTANA, NEVADA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW MEXICO, NEW YORK, OKLAHOMA, RHODE ISLAND, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, VIRGINIA, AND WISCONSIN, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ex rel. JOHN DOE, Relator, 20 21 ORDER Plaintiffs, 18 19 No. 2:09-cv-3617-KJM-EFB v. BIOTRONIK, INC. and WESTERN MEDICAL, INC., Defendants. 22 23 Relator (and relator’s counsel Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP’s (“KCT”)) have filed 24 motions for attorneys’ fees. Those motions are pending before the district judge and are set for 25 hearing on April 24, 2015. The relator has also filed a discovery motion to compel the production 26 of information that the relator intends to use in support of the attorneys’ fee motion. Specifically, 27 the relator moves to compel production of defendant’s relevant billing records. That motion to 28 compel is set for hearing on March 11, 2015. ECF No. 113. On March 3, 2015, defendant filed 1 1 an ex parte application to continue the hearing on the motion to compel to a date in mid-April or 2 later. ECF No. 114. Defendant contends that a continuance is necessary because its lead counsel, 3 Christopher Myers, underwent surgery in February and will be unavailable during the month of 4 March. Id. at 1-3. Relator and KCR oppose the motion. ECF No. 115. For the reasons set forth 5 below, the motion for continuance is denied. 6 Defendant is represented by an international law firm that lists having more than 1,000 7 attorneys in the United States and abroad.1 Other attorneys from the firm have appeared in this 8 action on behalf of defendant. See, e.g., ECF No. 115. Moreover, defendant has failed to 9 demonstrate that another attorney from the firm is incapable of handling what appears to be a 10 relatively routine discovery motion. See Nielsen v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. C 05-1759SBA, 11 2006 WL 778627, at * 1 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 27, 2006) (“Indeed, at least one other attorney of [the 12 defense firm] has already appeared before this Court in the above-captioned matter and the Court 13 assumes that this attorney, as well as the other members of Defendant’s counsel’s firm, are 14 members of the bar and are fully qualified to try this case.”). 15 On the other hand, granting the requested continuance would disrupt the scheduling order 16 issued by the assigned district judge. ECF Nos. 107, 108. The relator seeks the information at 17 issue for use in the motions for attorneys’ fees that are pending before the district judge. See ECF 18 Nos. 80, 91. The current scheduling order requires the relator and KTC’s reply briefs to be 19 submitted by March 27, 2015. ECF Nos. 107, 108. Continuing the hearing on the motion to 20 compel until mid-April (when Mr. Myers will apparently be available) would leave inadequate 21 time for use of the evidence in the discovery motions.2 Accordingly, the request to continue the 22 hearing is denied. 23 The parties’ joint statement regarding the motion to compel was due on March 4, 2015, 24 but was never filed. See E.D. Cal. L. R. 251(a). Thus, the motion has not been briefed, and the 25 1 26 27 28 (last checked March 5, 2015). 2 Defendant has not filed a motion before the assigned district judge to modify the scheduling order. 2 1 court is unable to address the merits of the motion at the March 11 hearing. Accordingly, the 2 hearing on relator and KCT’s motion to compel is continued to March 18, 2015, and the parties 3 are directed to file their joint statement on or before March 11, 2015.3 4 DATED: March 5, 2015. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 3 26 27 28 In its motion to continue the hearing, defendant requests the court’s assistance in creating a schedule for the preparation of the parties’ joint statement. ECF No. 114 at 1. It is not the court’s duty to assist counsel in the preparation of their pleadings. Any issue in completing the joint statement should be resolved through the required meet and confer process. See E.D. Cal. L.R. 251. 3

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