Heffington v. FCA US LLC

Filing 14

SCHEDULING ORDER, signed by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on 5/17/2017. Consent/Decline due within 10 days. Motion to Remand Deadline 6/5/2017. Pleading Amendment Deadline 8/14/2017. Discovery Deadlines: Initial Disclosures 5/19/2017; Non -Expert 3/23/2018; Expert 6/11/2018. Mid-Discovery Status Conference set for 12/4/2017 at 08:30 AM in Bakersfield, 510 19th Street before Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Non-Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filed by 6/19/2018; Hearing by 7/17/201 8. Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filed by 7/31/2018; Hearing by 9/18/2018. Settlement Conference set for 1/5/2018 at 09:30 AM in Bakersfield, 510 19th Street before Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Pretrial Conference set for 11/19/2018 at 03:30 PM in Courtroom 5 (DAD) before District Judge Dale A. Drozd. Jury Trial set for 2/12/2019 at 08:30 AM in Courtroom 5 (DAD) before District Judge Dale A. Drozd. (Hall, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 ROBERT HEFFINGTON, Plaintiff, 11 12 13 14 15 v. FCA US LLC, Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 2:17-cv-00317 - DAD - JLT SCHEDULING ORDER (Fed. R. Civ. P. 16) Motion to Remand Deadline: 6/5/2017 Pleading Amendment Deadline: 8/14/2017 Discovery Deadlines: Initial Disclosures: 5/19/2017 Non-Expert: 3/23/2018 Expert: 6/11/2018 Mid-Discovery Status Conference: 12/4/2017 at 8:30 a.m. 16 17 Non-Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filing: 6/19/2018 Hearing: 7/17/2018 18 19 Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filing: 7/31/2018 Hearing: 9/18/2018 20 21 Settlement Conference: 1/5/2018 at 9:30 a.m. 510 19th Street, Bakersfield, CA 22 23 Pre-Trial Conference: 11/19/2018 at 3:30 p.m. Courtroom 5 24 25 Trial: 26 27 28 1 2/12/2019 at 8:30 a.m. Courtroom 5 Jury trial: 10-12 days 1 I. May 17, 2017. 2 3 Date of Scheduling Conference II. Appearances of Counsel 4 Alastair Hamblin appeared on behalf of Plaintiff. 5 Kristi Livedalen appeared on behalf of Defendant. 6 III. Magistrate Judge Consent: 7 Notice of Congested Docket and Court Policy of Trailing 8 Due to the District Judges’ heavy caseload, the newly adopted policy of the Fresno Division of 9 the Eastern District is to trail all civil cases. The parties are hereby notified that for a trial date set 10 before a District Judge, the parties will trail indefinitely behind any higher priority criminal or older 11 civil case set on the same date until a courtroom becomes available. The trial date will not be reset to a 12 continued date. The Magistrate Judges’ availability is far more realistic and accommodating to parties than that 13 14 of the U.S. District Judges who carry the heaviest caseloads in the nation and who must prioritize 15 criminal and older civil cases over more recently filed civil cases. A United States Magistrate Judge 16 may conduct trials, including entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Federal Rule of 17 Civil Procedure 73, and Local Rule 305. Any appeal from a judgment entered by a United States 18 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 19 20 States Article III District Court Judges from throughout the nation as Visiting Judges. Pursuant to the 21 Local Rules, Appendix A, such reassignments will be random, and the parties will receive no advance 22 notice before their case is reassigned to an Article III District Court Judge from outside of the Eastern 23 District of California. Therefore, the parties are directed to consider consenting to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction to 24 25 conduct all further proceedings, including trial. Within 10 days of the date of this order, counsel 26 SHALL file a consent/decline form (provided by the Court at the inception of this case) indicating 27 whether they will consent to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Judge. 28 /// 2 1 IV. Motion to Remand Any motion to remand by Plaintiff SHALL be filed by June 5, 2017, and set before the 2 3 Honorable Dale A. Drozd, United States District Court Judge. 4 V. Pleading Amendment Deadline Any requested pleading amendments are ordered to be filed, either through a stipulation or 5 6 motion to amend, no later than August 14, 2017. Any motion to amend the pleadings shall be heard by 7 the Honorable Dale A. Drozd, United States District Court Judge. 8 VI. 9 10 11 12 13 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 May 19, 2017. The parties are ordered to complete all discovery pertaining to non-experts on or before March 23, 2018 and all discovery pertaining to experts on or before June 11, 2018. Counsel SHALL take the depositions of relevant witnesses in each of the related cases only one 14 time unless both sides agree to deviate. If the deponent will offer testimony as to the unique facts of 15 more than one of the related cases, the party taking the deposition will be entitled to extend the 16 deposition beyond seven hours. However, counsel SHALL meet in advance to come to agreement as 17 to how much additional time will be permitted. 18 The parties are directed to disclose all expert witnesses1, in writing, on or before April 9, 2018, 19 and to disclose all rebuttal experts on or before May 14, 2018. The written designation of retained and 20 non-retained experts shall be made pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 26(a)(2), (A), (B), and (C) and 21 shall include all information required thereunder. Failure to designate experts in compliance with 22 this order may result in the Court excluding the testimony or other evidence offered through such 23 experts that are not disclosed pursuant to this order. 24 The provisions of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(4) and (5) shall apply to all discovery relating to experts 25 and their opinions. Experts must be fully prepared to be examined on all subjects and opinions 26 included in the designation. Failure to comply will result in the imposition of sanctions, which may 27 28 1 In the event an expert will offer opinions related to a physical inspection of the vehicle, the inspection 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 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 2 3 disclosures and responses to discovery requests will be strictly enforced. A mid-discovery status conference is scheduled for December 4, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. before the 4 5 Honorable Jennifer L. Thurston, U.S. Magistrate Judge, located at 510 19th Street, Bakersfield, 6 California. Counsel SHALL file a joint mid-discovery status conference report one week before the 7 conference. Counsel also SHALL lodge the status report via e-mail to JLTorders@caed.uscourts.gov. 8 The joint statement SHALL outline the discovery counsel have completed and that which needs to be 9 completed as well as any impediments to completing the discovery within the deadlines set forth in this 10 order. Counsel may appear via teleconference by dialing (888) 557-8511 and entering Access Code 11 1652736, provided the Magistrate Judge's Courtroom Deputy Clerk receives a written notice of the 12 intent to appear telephonically no later than five court days before the noticed hearing date. 13 VII. 14 Pre-Trial Motion Schedule All non-dispositive pre-trial motions, including any discovery motions, shall be filed no later 15 than June 19, 2018 and heard on or before July 17, 2018. Discovery motions are heard before the 16 Honorable Jennifer L. Thurston, United States Magistrate Judge at the United States Courthouse in 17 Bakersfield, California. For these hearings, counsel may appear via teleconference by dialing (888) 18 557-8511 and entering Access Code 1652736, provided the Magistrate Judge's Courtroom Deputy 19 Clerk receives a written notice of the intent to appear telephonically no later than five court days before 20 the noticed hearing date. All other non-dispositive hearings SHALL be set before Judge Drozd. 21 No motion to amend or stipulation to amend the case schedule will be entertained unless it 22 is filed at least one week before the first deadline the parties wish to extend. Likewise, no written 23 discovery motions shall be filed without the prior approval of the assigned Magistrate Judge. A party 24 with a discovery dispute must first confer with the opposing party in a good faith effort to resolve by 25 agreement the issues in dispute. If that good faith effort is unsuccessful, the moving party promptly 26 shall seek a telephonic hearing with all involved parties and the Magistrate Judge. It shall be the 27 obligation of the moving party to arrange and originate the conference call to the court. To schedule 28 this telephonic hearing, the parties are ordered to contact the Courtroom Deputy Clerk, Susan Hall, at 4 1 (661) 326-6620 or via email at SHall@caed.uscourts.gov. Counsel must comply with Local Rule 251 2 with respect to discovery disputes or the motion will be denied without prejudice and dropped 3 from the Court’s calendar. All dispositive pre-trial motions shall be filed no later than July 31, 2018 and heard no later 4 5 than September 18, 2018, in Courtroom 5 at 9:30 a.m. before the Honorable Dale A. Drozd, United 6 States District Court Judge. In scheduling such motions, counsel shall comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 7 and Local Rules 230 and 260. 8 VIII. Motions for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication 9 At least 21 days before filing a motion for summary judgment or motion for summary 10 adjudication, the parties are ORDERED to meet, in person or by telephone, to confer about the issues 11 to be raised in the motion. 12 The purpose of the meeting shall be to: 1) avoid filing motions for summary judgment where a 13 question of fact exists; 2) determine whether the respondent agrees that the motion has merit in whole 14 or in part; 3) discuss whether issues can be resolved without the necessity of briefing; 4) narrow the 15 issues for review by the court; 5) explore the possibility of settlement before the parties incur the 16 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 17 18 statement of undisputed facts at least five days before the conference. The finalized joint statement of 19 undisputed facts SHALL include all facts that the parties agree, for purposes of the motion, may be 20 deemed true. In addition to the requirements of Local Rule 260, the moving party shall file the joint 21 statement of undisputed facts. In the notice of motion the moving party SHALL certify that the parties have met and conferred 22 23 as ordered above, or set forth a statement of good cause for the failure to meet and confer. Failure to 24 comply may result in the motion being stricken. 25 IX. Pre-Trial Conference Date 26 November 19, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. in Courtroom 5 before Judge Drozd. 27 The parties are ordered to file a Joint Pretrial Statement pursuant to Local Rule 281(a)(2). 28 The parties are further directed to submit a digital copy of their pretrial statement in Word format, 5 1 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 2 3 Eastern District of California, as to the obligations of counsel in preparing for the pre-trial conference. 4 The Court will insist upon strict compliance with those rules. In addition to the matters set forth in the 5 Local Rules the Joint Pretrial Statement shall include a Joint Statement of the case to be used by the 6 Court to explain the nature of the case to the jury during voir dire. 7 X. February 12, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 5 before the Honorable Dale A. Drozd, United 8 9 Trial Date States District Court Judge. 10 A. This is a jury trial. 11 B. Counsels' Estimate of Trial Time: 10-12 days. 12 C. Counsels' attention is directed to Local Rules of Practice for the Eastern District of 13 California, Rule 285. 14 XI. 15 Settlement Conference A Settlement Conference is scheduled for January 5, 2018 at 9:30 a.m., located at 510 19th 16 Street, Bakersfield, California. Notwithstanding the provisions of Local Rule 270(b), the settlement 17 conference will be conducted by Magistrate Judge Thurston. The Court deems the deviation from the 18 Local Rule to be appropriate and in the interests of the parties and justice and sound case management 19 based upon the location of the parties. If any party prefers that the settlement conference is 20 conducted by a judicial officer not already assigned to this case, that party is directed to notify 21 the Court at least 60 days in advance of the scheduled settlement conference to allow sufficient 22 time for another judicial officer to be assigned to handle the conference. 23 Unless otherwise permitted in advance by the Court, the attorneys who will try the case shall 24 appear at the Settlement Conference with the parties and the person or persons having full authority 25 to negotiate and settle the case on terms2 discussed at the conference. Consideration of settlement is a 26 27 2 28 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. To the extent possible the representative shall have the 6 1 serious matter that requires preparation prior to the settlement conference. Set forth below are the 2 procedures the Court will employ, absent good cause, in conducting the conference. 3 At least 21 days before the settlement conference, Plaintiff SHALL submit to Defendant via 4 fax or e-mail, a written itemization of damages and a meaningful3 settlement demand, which includes a 5 brief explanation of why such a settlement is appropriate. Thereafter, no later than 14 days before the 6 settlement conference, Defendant SHALL respond via fax or e-mail, with an acceptance of the offer or 7 with a meaningful counteroffer, including a brief explanation of why such a settlement is appropriate. 8 9 10 If settlement is not achieved, each party SHALL attach copies of their settlement offers to their Confidential Settlement Conference Statement, as described below. Copies of these documents shall not be filed on the court docket. CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE STATEMENT 11 12 At least five court days before the Settlement Conference, the parties shall submit, 13 directly to Judge Thurston's chambers by e-mail to JLTorders@caed.uscourts.gov, a Confidential 14 Settlement Conference Statement. The statement should not be filed with the Clerk of the Court 15 nor served on any other party, although the parties may file a Notice of Lodging of Settlement 16 Conference Statement. Each statement shall be clearly marked "confidential" with the date and 17 time of the Settlement Conference indicated prominently thereon. 18 The Confidential Settlement Conference Statement shall include the following: 19 A. A brief statement of the facts of the case. 20 B. A brief statement of the claims and defenses, i.e., statutory or other grounds upon which 21 the claims are founded; a forthright evaluation of the parties' likelihood of prevailing on 22 the claims and defenses; and a description of the major issues in dispute. 23 C. A summary of the proceedings to date. 24 D. An estimate of the cost and time to be expended for further discovery, pretrial and trial. 25 E. The relief sought. 26 F. The party's position on settlement, including present demands and offers and a history of 27 28 authority, if he or she deems it appropriate, to settle the action on terms consistent with the opposing party's most recent demand. 3 “Meaningful” means that 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. 7 past settlement discussions, offers and demands. 1 2 XII. Request for Bifurcation, Appointment of Special Master, or other 3 Techniques to Shorten Trial 4 Not applicable at this time. 5 XIII. Related Matters Pending The following pending matters have been related: (1) Darlene Garcia v. FCA US, LLC, Case 6 7 No. 1:16-cv-00730-DAD-JLT; (2) Larry Powell v. FCA US, LLC, Case No. 2:16-cv-02781-DAD-JLT; 8 (3) Timothy Durham v. FCA US, LLC, Case No. 2:17-cv-00596-DAD-JLT; (4) Larry Celestine v. FCA 9 US, LLC, Case No. 2:17-cv-00597-DAD-JLT; (5) Edith Salinas v. FCA US, LLC, Case No. 1:17-cv- 10 00419-DAD-JLT; (6) Julian (III) Flores et al. v. FCA US, LCC, Case No. 1:17-cv-00427-DAD-JLT; 11 and (7) Carla Sekula v. FCA US, LLC, et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-00460-DAD-JLT. (Doc. 8) 12 XIV. Compliance with Federal Procedure All counsel are expected to familiarize themselves with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 13 14 and the Local Rules of Practice of the Eastern District of California, and to keep abreast of any 15 amendments thereto. The Court must insist upon compliance with these Rules if it is to efficiently 16 handle its increasing case load and sanctions will be imposed for failure to follow both the Federal 17 Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of Practice for the Eastern District of California. 18 XV. 19 Effect of this Order The foregoing order represents the best estimate of the court and counsel as to the agenda most 20 suitable to dispose of this case. The trial date reserved is specifically reserved for this case. If the 21 parties determine at any time that the schedule outlined in this order cannot be met, counsel are ordered 22 to notify the court immediately of that fact so that adjustments may be made, either by stipulation or by 23 subsequent status conference. 24 The dates set in this Order are considered to be firm and will not be modified absent a 25 showing of good cause even if the request to modify is made by stipulation. Stipulations 26 extending the deadlines contained herein will not be considered unless they are accompanied by 27 affidavits or declarations, and where appropriate attached exhibits, which establish good cause 28 for granting the relief requested. 8 1 Failure to comply with this order may result in the imposition of sanctions. 2 3 4 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: May 17, 2017 /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 9

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