Marshall v. The CBE Group, Inc.

Filing 17

ORDER that 14 Motion to Compel is DENIED without prejudice. Signed by Magistrate Judge Nancy J. Koppe on 4/3/17. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - MMM)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 10 GRETTA MARSHALL, 11 Plaintiff(s), 12 vs. 13 THE CBE GROUP, INC., 14 Defendant(s). 15 16 17 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. 2:16-cv-02406-GMN-NJK ORDER DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL (Docket No. 14) Pending before the Court is Plaintiffs’ motion to compel. Docket No. 14. For the reasons discussed more fully below, the motion is hereby DENIED without prejudice. 18 “Discovery is supposed to proceed with minimal involvement of the Court.” F.D.I.C. v. Butcher, 19 116 F.R.D. 196, 203 (E.D. Tenn. 1986). Counsel should strive to be cooperative, practical and sensible, 20 and should seek judicial intervention “only in extraordinary situations that implicate truly significant 21 interests.” In re Convergent Techs. Securities Litig., 108 F.R.D. 328, 331 (N.D. Cal. 1985). A threshold 22 issue in the review of any motion to compel is whether the movant made adequate efforts to resolve the 23 dispute without court intervention. Cardoza v. Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., 141 F. Supp. 3d 1137, 1145 (D. 24 Nev. 2015). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a)(1) requires that the party bringing a motion to 25 compel discovery must “include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted 26 to confer with the person or party failing to make disclosure or discovery in an effort to obtain it without 27 court action.” The Local Rules further expound on this requirement, providing that discovery motions 28 will not be considered “unless the movant (1) has made a good faith effort to meet and confer . . . before 1 filing the motion, and (2) includes a declaration setting forth the details and results of the meet-and- 2 confer conference about each disputed discovery request.” Local Rule 26-7(c). 3 Judges in this District have held that “personal consultation” means the movant must “personally 4 engage in two-way communication with the nonresponding party to meaningfully discuss each contested 5 discovery dispute in a genuine effort to avoid judicial intervention.” ShuffleMaster, Inc. v. Progressive 6 Games, Inc., 170 F.R.D. 166, 171 (D. Nev. 1996). The consultation obligation “promote[s] a frank 7 exchange between counsel to resolve issues by agreement or to at least narrow and focus matters in 8 controversy before judicial resolution is sought.” Nevada Power v. Monsanto, 151 F.R.D. 118, 120 9 (D.Nev.1993). To meet this obligation, parties must “treat the informal negotiation process as a 10 substitute for, and not simply a formalistic prerequisite to, judicial resolution of discovery disputes.” 11 Id. This is done when the parties “present to each other the merits of their respective positions with the 12 same candor, specificity, and support during the informal negotiations as during the briefing of discovery 13 motions.” Id. To ensure that parties comply with these requirements, movants must file certifications 14 that “accurately and specifically convey to the court who, where, how, and when the respective parties 15 attempted to personally resolve the discovery dispute.” ShuffleMaster, 170 F.R.D. at 170.1 Courts may 16 look beyond the certification made to determine whether a sufficient meet-and-confer actually took 17 place. See, e.g., Cardoza, 141 F. Supp. 3d at 1145. 18 The pending motion is supported by a certification that counsel conferred on multiple occasions 19 regarding the underlying disputes. See Docket No. 14-1 at ¶ 4. In particular, the certification identifies 20 various written correspondences sent to Defendants. Id. at ¶¶ 14-17. The certification does not identify 21 any personal consultation, however, and it appears instead that counsel chose to forego that personal 22 consultation. See Docket No. 14-14. As such, the motion to compel is not properly before the Court. 23 See, e.g., Local Rule IA 1-3(f) (meet-and-confer requirements “may only be satisfied through direct 24 dialogue and discussion in a face-to-face meeting, telephone conference, or video conference. The 25 exchange of written, electronic, or voice-mail communications does not satisfy this requirement”). 26 27 28 1 These requirements are now largely codified in the Court’s local rules that became effective in 2016. See Local Rule 26-7(c), Local Rule IA 1-3(f). 2 1 For the reasons discussed more fully above, the motion to compel is DENIED without prejudice. 2 IT IS SO ORDERED. 3 DATED: April 3, 2017 4 5 ______________________________________ NANCY J. KOPPE 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 3

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