Rojas v. Sonoma County et al

Filing 25

NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE AND SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE ORDER: Settlement Conference set for 1/13/2012 10:30 AM before Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu. Signed by Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu on 10/21/11. (ig, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/21/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 ARTEMIS HERRERA ROJAS, 9 Plaintiff, v. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE AND SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE ORDER SONOMA COUNTY, ET AL, 12 No. C-11-1358-EMC (DMR) Defendants. ___________________________________/ 13 14 TO ALL PARTIES AND COUNSEL OF RECORD: 15 The above matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu for settlement purposes. 16 You are hereby notified that a settlement conference is scheduled for 1/13/2012, at 10:30 17 a.m., at the U.S. District Court, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, California 94612. For courtroom 18 number and floor information, please check the Court’s on-line calendar at 19 (click “Calendars” link on left side, click link to Judge Ryu’s 20 calendar) or call Judge Ryu's Courtroom Deputy, Ivy Garcia, at (510) 637-3639, one week prior to 21 the scheduled settlement conference. 22 It is the responsibility of counsel to ensure that whatever discovery is needed for all sides to 23 evaluate the case for settlement purposes is completed by the date of the settlement conference. 24 Counsel shall cooperate in providing discovery informally and expeditiously. 25 A. 26 Meet and Confer Requirement. No later than fourteen (14) calendar days before the settlement conference and prior to the 27 preparation of their Exchanged Settlement Conference Statements and Confidential Settlement 28 Letters, counsel for the parties must meet and confer (in person or by phone) to discuss matters 1 pertinent to improving the prospects that the settlement negotiations will be productive. During the 2 meet and confer, counsel may address any subjects they feel are appropriate, but they must discuss 3 the following: 4 1. Who will attend the conference on behalf of each party, including counsel 5 and identification of the person(s) with full authority to make the final decision as to whether any 6 settlement offer is made, accepted, or rejected (e.g., either the party or another person(s) if full 7 authority does not rest with the party). 8 9 2. can be executed, as well as the nature and duration of any such approval process. 10 3. Whether insurance is available to cover all or part of the claimed losses or to fund all 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court Which persons or entities must approve a proposed settlement agreement before it or part of any party's defense; whether tenders have been made to any insurance companies; and if 12 insurance is available, the name of and position held by each claims representative who will be 13 attending the settlement conference. 14 15 4. Whether it would be useful for settlement demands and/or offers to be made before the settlement conference is convened. 16 5. Whether there are particular documents or other tangible things that should be 17 brought to the conference (e.g., to educate the settlement judge or to support or explain significant 18 contentions). 19 6. Any unusual issues or factors that could come into play in the settlement negotiations 20 or any especially sensitive matters that other counsel should be alerted to before the conference. 21 B. 22 23 Lodged Settlement Conference Documents. No later than ten (10) calendar days prior to the settlement conference, each party shall submit the following: 24 (1) an Exchanged Settlement Conference Statement; and 25 (2) a Confidential Settlement Letter. 26 Two copies of each document shall be LODGED (not filed) with the U.S. District Court Clerk's 27 Office in Oakland, located at 1301 Clay Street, Suite 400S, 4th Floor, Oakland, California 94612. 28 2 1 The documents shall be submitted in a sealed envelope addressed to Magistrate Judge Ryu and 2 prominently marked "SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE DOCUMENTS - DO NOT FILE." 3 1. 4 Counsel shall serve a copy of the Settlement Conference Statement on all parties. Exchanged Settlement Conference Statements. 5 Furthermore, counsel are strongly encouraged prior to the settlement conference to share with their 6 clients the contents of the Settlement Conference Statement(s) received from opposing counsel. 7 The Settlement Conference Statement shall not exceed ten (10) pages of text. Parties are 8 encouraged to include as exhibits any key documents and deposition excerpts up to twenty (20) 9 pages. The Settlement Conference Statement shall include the following: a. A brief statement of the facts of the case. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 b. A brief statement of the principal claims and defenses. 12 c. A description of the key factual and legal issues that are in dispute and a plain 13 and concise statement of the specific evidence relevant to their determination. 14 Portions of any exhibits relied upon by the parties shall be referenced and 15 highlighted. 16 d. 17 18 A summary of the proceedings to date and a description of any pending motions. e. The bases for any damages calculations and a description of any non- 19 monetary relief sought or non-monetary components of settlement offers or 20 demands. 21 f. A description of each component of each party's most recently communicated 22 settlement demand or offer (describing specifically any non-monetary terms 23 that were demanded or offered). 24 g. 25 26 For each party, a list of the names, titles, and positions of all persons who will be attending the conference. h. Where the party is a governmental entity, a description of which persons or 27 entities must approve a proposed settlement agreement before it can be 28 executed, as well as the nature and duration of that approval process. 3 1 2. 2 The Confidential Settlement Letter shall not be served upon other parties. 3 The Confidential Settlement Letter shall not exceed five (5) pages of text and shall include 4 Confidential Settlement Letters. the following: 5 a. Separately for each principal claim and defense, a forthright evaluation of the 6 strengths and weaknesses and likelihood that the party submitting the 7 Confidential Letter will prevail. Citations to any key legal authorities relied 8 upon by the parties as part of this evaluation shall be provided. 9 b. An estimate of the out-of-pocket expenses, attorneys' fees, and time: (a) spent to date and (b) to be expended for further discovery, pretrial, and trial. If 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 plaintiff seeks attorneys' fees and costs, plaintiff's counsel shall be prepared at 12 the conference to provide sufficient information to enable the fee claim to be 13 evaluated for purposes of settlement. 14 c. A history of past settlement discussions (without revealing communications 15 whose disclosure to a settlement judge is prohibited), a description of the 16 principal obstacles (factual, legal, or other) to reaching agreement, and the 17 reason the parties' assessments of the settlement value of the case differ. 18 d. A realistic settlement figure or terms (including any non-monetary terms) that, 19 given all the circumstances, the party submitting the Confidential Letter 20 would consider seriously. 21 e. Where the party is insured or is a governmental entity, any foreseeable 22 barriers to insurance coverage or approval of a proposed settlement, or special 23 concerns that the insurer or governmental entity might want addressed. 24 f. 25 26 27 28 A brief discussion of any of the subjects identified in Section A of this Order that might be significant in the settlement dynamic. C. Mandatory Personal Attendance. Lead trial counsel shall appear at the settlement conference with the parties and with the person(s) having full authority to make the final decision as to whether any settlement offer is 4 1 made, accepted, or rejected (if full authority does not rest with the party). A person who needs to 2 call another person not present before making, accepting, or rejecting any settlement offer does not 3 have such full authority. If a party is a governmental entity, its governing body shall designate one 4 of its members or a senior executive to appear at the settlement conference with authority to 5 participate in the settlement conference and, if a tentative settlement agreement is reached, to 6 recommend the agreement to the governmental entity for its approval. An insured party shall 7 appear with a representative of the carrier with full authority to negotiate up to the limits of 8 coverage. 9 Personal attendance is mandatory and will rarely be excused by the Court, and then only upon a written request that is timely under the circumstances and that demonstrates extraordinary 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 hardship. Personal attendance may be excused only upon written authorization from the Court. If 12 the Court permits attendance by telephone, the person who is excused from personally appearing 13 must be available to participate by telephone throughout the entire conference. 14 D. 15 Duration and Content of Settlement Conference. It is not unusual for settlement conferences to last three (3) or more hours. Parties and their 16 representatives should be prepared to devote the entire day to the conference if necessary. Parties 17 are encouraged to participate in the settlement conference and frankly discuss their case. Statements 18 they make during the conference will not be admissible at trial in the event the case does not settle. 19 The parties and their representatives should be prepared to discuss such issues as their settlement 20 objectives; any impediments to settlement they perceive; whether they have enough information to 21 discuss settlement and if not, what additional information is needed; and the possibility of a creative 22 resolution of the dispute. 23 E. 24 Continuances. Any request to continue the settlement conference shall state the reason therefor and be 25 submitted in writing as soon as possible after consultation with the opposing party but well in 26 advance of the scheduled conference date. The request must demonstrate a compelling reason for a 27 continuance and shall state whether it is joined or opposed by the other party(ies). Submission 28 of such request shall be filed with the Court; a courtesy copy must be provided no later than 12:00 5 1 noon on the day after the document is filed and may be submitted by facsimile (510-637-1014). 2 Parties must appear on the calendared date unless the Court issues an Order continuing the 3 matter. 4 If the date to which a continuance is sought would be past a deadline for holding the 5 settlement conference that was set by the judge to whom the case is assigned for trial, the party 6 seeking the continuance must secure permission from the trial judge to hold the settlement 7 conference during the proposed new time frame before seeking the continuance from Judge Ryu. 8 A writing evidencing the trial judge's extension of the deadline must accompany the party's request 9 to Judge Ryu for the continuance. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 The parties shall immediately notify Judge Ryu's Courtroom Deputy, Ivy Garcia, at (510) 637-3639, if this case settles prior to the date set for the settlement conference. Any failure to comply with the requirements of this Order may subject the parties and/or counsel to sanctions. IT IS SO ORDERED. 15 16 Dated: October 21, 2011 17 DONNA M. RYU United States Magistrate Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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