NATIONAL VETERANS LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM et al v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
RESPONSE re #57 MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply filed by ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, NATIONAL CONSUMER LAW CENTER, NATIONAL VETERANS LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM. (Gupta, Deepak)
Case 1:16-cv-00745-ESH Document 58 Filed 09/13/17 Page 1 of 4
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
NATIONAL VETERANS LEGAL
SERVICES PROGRAM, NATIONAL
CONSUMER LAW CENTER, and
ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE, for themselves
and all others similarly situated,
Case No. 16-745-ESH
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFFS’ RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S EXTENSION REQUEST
Five days before its deadline, the government seeks a 60-day extension of the time in
which to file its opposition to the plaintiffs’ summary-judgment motion. ECF No. 57. Although
our practice is to routinely consent to all reasonable extension requests, plaintiffs’ counsel regret
that we cannot consent to this request in full because it is, in our view, unreasonable.
The government has known for at least eight months that it would need to file an
opposition to our summary-judgment motion, which raises only one legal issue—the same
discrete statutory-interpretation issue that has been the focus of this case from the very beginning,
as both parties recognized at the class-certification hearing on January 18, 2017. See Tr. 21–23.
The summary-judgment briefing schedule has been set for months: The Court’s January
24 order (ECF No. 24) made clear that the government would receive 20 days to respond. The
sole reason for the 30-day extension to file the summary-judgment motion was “to provide the
government with additional time” to produce long-requested basic factual information that should
not have reasonably taken so long to produce—not because the plaintiffs needed any more time.
ECF No. 48. The plaintiffs made the request, in other words, as a courtesy to the government’s
Case 1:16-cv-00745-ESH Document 58 Filed 09/13/17 Page 2 of 4
counsel, who “cited competing scheduling obligations and the need to coordinate with clients as
the basis for the [government’s] delay.” Id.
Now the government again cites yet more competing scheduling obligations as
justification for further delay, while asserting that the size of the summary-judgment filings
(including exhibits and amicus briefs) necessitates a lengthy extension. ECF No. 57. We cannot
agree. The exhibits are no surprise; they are mainly copies of documents already cited in the
complaint and previous briefing, or documents produced by the government itself. The actual
argument section of the motion, moreover, is less than ten pages. And, while the amicus briefs
certainly offer context and insight on the practical and constitutional implications of this
litigation, the government identifies no distinct legal arguments that should require an extensive
At the same time, we recognize that the government’s counsel have other obligations, and
we are willing to accommodate those obligations within reason (despite the fact that the
government’s due date has been known since July 5). For that reason, the plaintiffs consent to a
30-day extension. A 30-day extension should afford the federal government more than enough
time to brief the one straightforward legal issue now before the Court. But nothing has happened
since the scheduling order that would warrant a two-month extension.
/s/ Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta (D.C. Bar No. 495451)
Jonathan E. Taylor (D.C. Bar No. 1015713)
GUPTA WESSLER PLLC
1900 L Street, NW, Suite 312
Washington, DC 20036
Case 1:16-cv-00745-ESH Document 58 Filed 09/13/17 Page 3 of 4
William H. Narwold (D.C. Bar No. 502352)
Meghan S.B. Oliver
MOTLEY RICE LLC
401 9th Street, NW, Suite 1001
Washington, DC 20004
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
September 13, 2017
Case 1:16-cv-00745-ESH Document 58 Filed 09/13/17 Page 4 of 4
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that on September 13, 2017, I filed this response to the defendant’s
extension request through this Court’s CM/ECF system, which will send a notice of electronic
filing to all counsel required to be served.
/s/ Deepak Gupta
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