Perez v. TLC Residential Inc et al

Filing 136

ORDER DENYING 131 MOTION TO SHORTEN TIME by Hon. William Alsup. (whalc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/18/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 THOMAS E. PEREZ, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, Plaintiff, 12 13 14 No. C 15-02776 WHA v. ORDER DENYING MOTION TO SHORTEN TIME TLC RESIDENTIAL INC. and FRANCISCO MONTERO, 15 Defendants. / 16 17 In November 2016, Attorney Rebecca Turner of the Fog City Law Group substituted in 18 as defense counsel in this action, replacing Attorneys Todd Roberts and Nicole Healy of 19 Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley (Dkt. Nos. 113, 114). Subsequently, after a further case 20 management conference at which Attorney Turner failed to appear, the Court amended the case 21 management schedule. Under the new schedule, fact discovery closes on January 27 (Dkt. No. 22 124). 23 Since then, Attorney Turner claims, she has made numerous attempts to obtain 24 defendants’ complete client files from RMKB. Such attempts have been only partially 25 successful, she says, due to RMKB’s persistent refusal to turn over defendants’ client files in 26 their entirety. Based on these allegations, defendants filed four concurrent motions to (1) 27 compel RMKB to turn over defendants’ complete client files in their entirety (Dkt. No. 132), (2) 28 shorten the time to hear the motion to compel (Dkt. No. 131), (3) sanction former defense counsel (Dkt. No. 133), and (4) extend fact discovery (Dkt. No. 134). 1 The Court has considered both defendants’ motion to shorten time and RMKB’s 2 opposition thereto. Defendants essentially argue the motion to compel must be heard on an 3 accelerated schedule because the fact discovery deadline is approaching, and defendants need to 4 recoup fees incurred in attempting to obtain their client files in order to pay more fees to sustain 5 this litigation. The instant motion, however, is unnecessary to avoid prejudice resulting from 6 the fact discovery deadline given that defendants also have a pending motion to extend that 7 deadline, in connection with which their complaints of obstruction by former defense counsel 8 will be duly considered. And, defendants do not explain how an accelerated schedule for the 9 instant motion would help them foot their attorney’s bills. Defendants’ motion to shorten the time to hear their motion to compel is DENIED. The 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 motion to compel will be briefed and heard on the normal 35-day track. Defense counsel shall 12 serve this order on their predecessors from RMKB and ensure that former defense counsel 13 appear at the hearing on February 16, by subpoena if necessary. The Court will determine at the 14 hearing whether to hold an evidentiary hearing, at which former defense counsel can be cross- 15 examined under oath by current defense counsel to determine the extent, if any, to which former 16 defense counsel actually failed to turn over defendants’ client files. The Court will decide 17 defendants’ motion to extend fact discovery only after the dust settles on this snafu. 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 21 Dated: January 18, 2017. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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