Hunt v. Zuffa, LLC et al

Filing 180

ORDER. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that 170 the parties' Stipulation and Order to Stay Discovery Deadlines Pending the Court's Ruling on Defendant Zuffa's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a status hearing is scheduled for 11:00 a.m., 9/23/2019, in courtroom 3D. Signed by Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach on 6/6/2019. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - MR)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 5 *** 6 MARK HUNT, 7 Plaintiff, 8 9 10 vs. ZUFFA, LLC d/b/a ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHOP, et al., 2:17-cv-00085-JAD-VCF ORDER Defendants. 11 12 Before the court is the Stipulation and Order to Stay Discovery Deadlines Pending the Court’s 13 Ruling on Defendant Zuffa’s Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF NO. 170). 14 The parties request that discovery is stayed until after the resolution of the pending Motion for 15 Summary Judgment (ECF No. 152). Id. 16 LEGAL STANDARD 17 When evaluating a request to stay discovery while a dispositive motion is pending, the court 18 initially considers the goal of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 1. The guiding premise of the Rules is that 19 the Rules “should be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination 20 of every action.” FED. R. CIV. P. 1. It needs no citation of authority to recognize that discovery is 21 expensive. The Supreme Court has long mandated that trial courts should resolve civil matters fairly but 22 without undue cost. Brown Shoe Co. v. United States, 370 U.S. 294, 306 (1962). This directive is echoed 23 by Rule 26, which instructs the court to balance the expense of discovery against its likely benefit. See 24 FED.R.CIV.P. 26(B)(2)(iii). 25 Consistent with the Supreme Court’s mandate that trial courts should balance fairness and cost, 1 2 the Rules do not provide for automatic or blanket stays of discovery when a potentially dispositive motion 3 is pending. Skellerup Indus. Ltd. v. City of Los Angeles, 163 F.R.D. 598, 600–01 (C.D. Cal. 1995). 4 Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1), “[t]he court may, for good cause, issue an order to 5 protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.” 6 Whether to grant a stay is within the discretion of the court. Munoz–Santana v. U.S. I.N.S., 742 F.2d 561, 7 562 (9th Cir. 1984). The party seeking the protective order, however, has the burden “to ‘show good cause’ 8 by demonstrating harm or prejudice that will result from the discovery.” FED. R. CIV. P. 26(c)(1). 9 Satisfying the “good cause” obligation is a challenging task. A party seeking “a stay of discovery carries 10 the heavy burden of making a ‘strong showing’ why discovery should be denied.” Gray v. First Winthrop 11 Corp., 133 F.R.D. 39, 40 (N.D.Cal.1990) (citing Blankenship v. Hearst Corp. 519 F.2d 418, 429 (9th Cir. 12 1975)). 13 Generally, imposing a stay of discovery pending a motion to dismiss is permissible if there are no 14 factual issues raised by the motion to dismiss, discovery is not required to address the issues raised by the 15 motion to dismiss, and the court is “convinced” that the plaintiff is unable to state a claim for relief. Rae 16 v. Union Bank, 725 F.2d 478, 481 (9th Cir. 1984); White v. Am. Tobacco Co., 125 F.R.D. 508 (D. Nev. 17 1989) (citing Wood v. McEwen, 644 F.2d 797, 801 (9th Cir. 1981) cert. denied, 455 U.S. 942 (1982). 18 Typical situations in which staying discovery pending a ruling on a dispositive motion are appropriate 19 would be where the dispositive motion raises issues of jurisdiction, venue, or immunity. TradeBay, LLC 20 v. Ebay, Inc., 278 F.R.D. 597, 600 (D. Nev. 2011). 21 Courts in the District of Nevada apply a two-part test when evaluating whether a discovery stay 22 should be imposed. Id. (citations omitted). First, the pending motion must be potentially dispositive of the 23 entire case or at least the issue on which discovery is sought. Id. Second, the court must determine whether 24 the pending motion to dismiss can be decided without additional discovery. Id. When applying this test, 25 the court must take a “preliminary peek” at the merits of the pending dispositive motion to assess whether 1 a stay is warranted. Id. The purpose of the “preliminary peek” is not to prejudge the outcome of the motion 2 to dismiss. Rather, the court’s role is to evaluate the propriety of an order staying or limiting discovery 3 with the goal of accomplishing the objectives of Rule 1. DISCUSSION 4 5 After a “preliminary peek" and in light of the goals of Rule 1 to “secure the just, speedy, and 6 inexpensive” determination of all cases, the Court finds that the Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF 7 NO. 170) has merit and may result in a final judgment. The parties have demonstrated good cause to stay 8 discovery. The parties will not need to incur unnecessary discovery costs during the pendency of the 9 motion to dismiss. See FED. R. CIV. P. 1. 10 Accordingly, and for good cause shown, 11 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties’ Stipulation and Order to Stay Discovery Deadlines 12 Pending the Court’s Ruling on Defendant Zuffa’s Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF NO. 170) is 13 GRANTED. In the event resolution of the Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 152) does not result 14 in the disposition of this case, the parties must file a new joint discovery plan within 20 days of the issuance 15 of the order deciding that motion. 16 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a status hearing is scheduled for 11:00 a.m., September 23, 17 2019, in courtroom 3D, located on the third floor of the Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse, 333 Las Vegas 18 Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101. 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 DATED this 6th day of June, 2019. _________________________ CAM FERENBACH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

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