AI CA LLC v. CrediautoUSA Financial Company LLC et al

Filing 29

ORDER Modifying Mandatory Settlement Conference to be via Videoconference and Issuing Updated Procedures. Signed by Magistrate Judge Allison H. Goddard on 5/6/2022. (tcf)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 AI CA LLC, Case No.: 3:20-cv-2352-MMA-AHG Plaintiff, 12 13 v. 14 ORDER MODIFYING MANDATORY SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE TO BE VIA VIDEOCONFERENCE AND ISSUING UPDATED PROCEDURES CREDIAUTOUSA FINANCIAL COMPANY LLC, et al., 15 16 Defendants. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 3:20-cv-2352-MMA-AHG 1 On May 27, 2021, the Court scheduled the Mandatory Settlement Conference 2 (“MSC”) in this matter for May 18, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. ECF No. 10 at 4. The Order 3 scheduling the MSC incorporated by reference the Court’s existing requirement of personal 4 attendance of all parties, party representatives, including claims adjusters for insured 5 defendants, and the primary attorney(s) responsible for the litigation at the conference. Id.; 6 AHG.MSC.R. at ¶ 3; see also ECF No. 10 at 4 (noting that the MSC would occur “in the 7 chambers of Magistrate Judge Allison H. Goddard”) (emphasis added). However, due to 8 the current COVID-19 public emergency,1 and upon due consideration, the Court hereby 9 MODIFIES the in-person MSC to be via videoconference for all attendees. To facilitate 10 this modification, the Court hereby ORDERS as follows: 11 1. The Court will use its official Zoom video conferencing account to hold the 12 Settlement Conference. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom: Zoom is available on 13 computers through a download on the Zoom website ( or on 14 mobile devices through the installation of a free app. 2 Joining a Zoom conference does not 15 require creating a Zoom account, but it does require downloading the .exe file (if using a 16 computer) or the app (if using a mobile device). Participants are encouraged to create an 17 account, install Zoom and familiarize themselves with Zoom in advance of the Settlement 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 On March 2, 2021, Chief Judge Dana M. Sabraw issued an Order in response to the COVID-19 public emergency (“CJO #62”) which, among other things, suspends the requirement under Civil Local Rules 16.3(a) and 16.3(b) that MSCs be conducted in person. See CJO #62 at 1. CJO #62 is available on the Court website at The suspension of the requirements under Civil Local Rules 16.3(a) and 16.3(b) that MSCs be conducted in person is also reiterated by CJO #62-B, filed on June 11, 2021. CJO #62-B is available on the Court website at 1 If possible, participants are encouraged to use laptops or desktop computers for the video conference, rather than mobile devices. 2 2 3:20-cv-2352-MMA-AHG 1 Conference.3 There is a cost-free option for creating a Zoom account. 2 2. Prior to the start of the Settlement Conference, the Court will email each 3 participant an invitation to join a Zoom video conference. Again, if possible, participants 4 are encouraged to use laptops or desktop computers for the video conference, as mobile 5 devices often offer inferior performance. Participants shall join the video conference by 6 following the ZoomGov Meeting hyperlink in the invitation. Participants who do not 7 have Zoom already installed on their device when they click on the ZoomGov Meeting 8 hyperlink will be prompted to download and install Zoom before proceeding. Zoom 9 may then prompt participants to enter the password included in the invitation. 10 3. Each participant should plan to join the Zoom video conference at least five 11 minutes before the start of the Settlement Conference to ensure that the conference begins 12 promptly. 13 4. Zoom’s functionalities will allow the Court to conduct the Settlement 14 Conference as it ordinarily would conduct an in-person one. The Court will divide 15 participants into separate, confidential sessions, which Zoom calls Breakout Rooms.4 In a 16 Breakout Room, the Court will be able to communicate with participants from a single 17 party in confidence. Breakout Rooms will also allow parties and counsel to communicate 18 confidentially without the Court. 19 20 5. No later than May 9, 2022, counsel for each party shall send an e-mail to the Court at containing the following: 21 a. 22 The name and title of each participant, including all parties and party representatives with full settlement authority, claims adjusters for 23 24 25 26 27 28 For help getting started with Zoom, visit: 3 For more information on what to expect when participating in a Zoom Breakout Room, visit: 4 3 3:20-cv-2352-MMA-AHG 1 insured defendants, and the primary attorney(s) responsible for the 2 litigation; 3 b. 4 An e-mail address for each participant to receive the Zoom video conference invitation; 5 c. A telephone number where each participant may be reached; and 6 d. A cell phone number for that party’s preferred point of 7 contact (and the name of the individual whose cell phone it is) for the 8 Court to use during the ENE to alert counsel via text message that the 9 Court will soon return to that party’s Breakout Room, to avoid any 10 unexpected interruptions of confidential discussions. 11 6. All participants shall display the same level of professionalism during the 12 Settlement Conference and be prepared to devote their full attention to the Settlement 13 Conference as if they were attending in person, i.e., cannot be driving while speaking to 14 the Court. Because Zoom may quickly deplete the battery of a participant’s device, each 15 participant should ensure that their device is plugged in or that a charging cable is readily 16 available during the video conference. 17 7. Counsel are advised that although the Settlement Conference will take place 18 on Zoom, all participants shall appear and conduct themselves as if it is proceeding in a 19 courtroom, i.e., counsel must dress in appropriate courtroom attire. 20 8. All dates, deadlines, 5 procedures, and requirements set forth in the Court’s 21 Scheduling Order setting the MSC (ECF No. 10) remain in place, except as explicitly 22 modified by this order. 23 24 25 26 27 28 For the parties’ convenience, the Court repeats the pertinent deadlines here. The parties should note that some of these deadlines have already passed: 5 1. Plaintiff was required to serve on Defendant a written settlement proposal, including a specific demand amount, no later than April 27, 2022. The defendant was required to respond to the plaintiff in writing with a specific offer amount prior to the Meet 4 3:20-cv-2352-MMA-AHG 1 2 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: May 6, 2022 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 and Confer discussion. Counsel for the parties were required to meet and confer in person, via videoconference, or by phone no later than May 4, 2022. 2. Each party must prepare a Settlement Conference Statement, which will be served on opposing counsel and lodged with the Court no later than May 9, 2022. The Statement must be lodged in .pdf format via email to (not filed). The substance of the Settlement Conference Statement must comply fully with the Judge Goddard’s Mandatory Settlement Conference Rules (located on the court website at ent%20Conference%20Rules.pdf). 4. Each party may also prepare an optional Confidential Settlement Letter for the Court’s review only, to be lodged with the Court no later than May 9, 2022. The Letter must be lodged in .pdf format via email to (not filed). Should a party choose to prepare a Letter, the substance of the Settlement Conference Letter must comply fully with the Judge Goddard’s Mandatory Settlement Conference Rules. 5. All parties are ordered to read and to fully comply with the Chambers Rules and Mandatory Settlement Conference Rules of Magistrate Judge Allison H. Goddard. 5 3:20-cv-2352-MMA-AHG

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