Fernandez v. Southwestern Railroad of New Mexico et al

Filing 54

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Lourdes A. Martinez GRANTING in part and DENYING in part 47 Motion for Extension of Time to Conduct Experts' Depositions. (atc)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO ANTONIO FERNANDEZ, Plaintiff, v. No. CIV-15-1165 MCA/LAM THE WESTERN GROUP, L.C., and SOUTHWESTERN SHORTLINE RAILROAD COMPANY, Defendants. ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO EXTEND TIME TO CONDUCT EXPERTS’ DEPOSITIONS THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Opposed Motion to Extend Time Discovery Period [sic] to Conduct Expert Witness Depositions (Doc. 47), filed March 30, 2017. Pursuant to the Court’s order for expedited briefing [Doc. 49], Defendants filed a response on April 4, 2017 [Doc. 52], and Plaintiff filed a reply the same day [Doc. 53]. Having considered the motion, response, reply, and record of the case, the Court FINDS that the motion shall be GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. In his motion, Plaintiff asks the Court to extend the discovery period in this case by sixty (60) days for the limited purpose of conducting expert witness depositions. [Doc. 47 at 3-4]. In response, Defendants state that Plaintiff’s counsel delayed in providing dates for Plaintiff’s experts’ depositions, and then only provided dates in May for those depositions, which is after Defendants’ deadline to provide their expert reports. [Doc. 52 at 3-4]. Defendants contend that Plaintiff fails to set forth good cause for his motion and that he has not engaged in due diligence to meet the Court-ordered deadlines in this case. See id. at 5-6. In reply, Plaintiff states that, in 1 an effort to resolve this discovery dispute, he has offered two dates in April for his experts’ depositions. See [Doc. 53 at 2]. Plaintiff states that he is asking the Court to extend the discovery deadline to depose Defendants’ experts only, and that he withdraws any request to extend the discovery deadline to conduct depositions of Plaintiff’s experts. See id. at 3. The Court has already granted the parties’ request for a sixty (60) day extension of time to provide their expert disclosures. See [Doc. 35] (granting Doc. 34). On February 1, 2017, the Court held a hearing in this case, at which the Court stated that the parties could file a motion to extend the discovery deadline in this case for the limited purpose of taking expert depositions. See [Doc. 39] (Clerk’s Minutes). However, the Court also “instructed the parties to select those deposition dates as soon as possible to avoid any further delays.” Id. Despite the Court’s instruction, and knowing that Defendants’ expert disclosures are due on May 2, 2017, Plaintiff’s counsel only offered Defendants dates in May for Plaintiff’s experts’ depositions. Plaintiff’s counsel’s explanation that she has a trial set in April and would like to take time off after the trial does not constitute good cause for further delays of the parties’ expert deadlines in this case. Nevertheless, since the parties have agreed to take Plaintiff’s experts’ depositions on May 4, 2017 and May 8, 2017 (see Doc. 47-1 at 2), and it appears that at least one of these depositions may be moved up to April 24, 2017 (see Doc. 53 at 2), the Court will allow the parties a limited extension of time for Defendants to depose Plaintiff’s experts prior to producing their expert reports, and for Plaintiff to conduct depositions of Defendants’ experts after those reports are disclosed. The Court will not grant any further extensions of time in this case. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Opposed Motion to Extend Time Discovery Period [sic] to Conduct Expert Witness Depositions (Doc. 47) is GRANTED in part, and the parties’ deadlines are extended as follows: 1. Plaintiff’s experts must be deposed by: May 8, 2017 2. Defendants’ expert disclosures: May 19, 2017 3. Defendants’ experts must be deposed by: June 2, 2017 All other deadlines in this case shall remain in effect and are not extended. IT IS SO ORDERED. ___________________________________ LOURDES A. MARTÍNEZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 3

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