Mohammed et al v. United States of America, Bonneville Power Administration et al
ORDER denying Defendant Resource Management Associates, Inc.'s 30 Motion to Continue Trial Date and Modify Case Schedule. Signed by Judge Richard A Jones. (TH)
HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
HEVI MOHAMMED, individually, and as
personal representative of the estate of ALI
MUSTAFA SAEED, and the beneficiaries
of the estate including K.S., and V.S.;
DAWOOD AMEDI, individually and KAVI
MOHAMMED, individually, and as parents
and legal guardians of N. A. and L. A., and
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
ADMINISTRATION; and RESOURCE
MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES, INC., an
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Resource Management
Associates, Inc.’s (“RMA”) Motion to Continue the Trial Date and Modify Case
Schedule. Dkt. # 30. Plaintiff opposes the motion. Dkt. # 35. 1 For the reasons that
follow, the Court DENIES the motion.
The Court strongly disfavors footnoted legal citations. Footnoted citations serve as an end-run
around page limits and formatting requirements dictated by the Local Rules. See Local Rules W.D.
ORDER - 1
Plaintiffs filed suit on October 4, 2016. Dkt. # 1. On February 22, 2017, the
Court set the trial date and related deadlines. Dkt. # 14. In September 2017, the
parties stipulated to extending their deadlines to disclose experts and complete
discovery. Dkt. # 22. Now Defendant RMA seeks a further extension of time to
complete discovery, which would result in a continuance of the parties’ April 2018
trial date. Dkt. # 30.
Rule 16 governs motions to modify scheduling orders and requires the moving
party to show “good cause” for any such request. Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4); see also
Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 608 (9th Cir. 1992), Paz v. City
of Aberdeen, C13-5104 RJB, 2013 WL 6163016, at *2 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 25, 2013).
The Ninth Circuit explained the “good cause” standard for the purposes of Rule 16 in
Rule 16(b)’s “good cause” standard primarily considers the
diligence of the party seeking the amendment. The district
court may modify the pretrial schedule if it cannot
reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party seeking
the submission. Moreover, carelessness is not compatible
with a finding of diligence and offers no reason for a grant
of relief. Although the existence or degree of prejudice to
the party opposing the modification might supply additional
reasons to deny a motion, the focus of the inquiry is upon
Wash. LCR 7(e). Moreover, several courts have observed that “citations are highly relevant in a legal
brief” and including them in footnotes “makes brief-reading difficult.” Wichansky v. Zowine, No. CV13-01208-PHX-DGC, 2014 WL 289924, at *1 (D. Ariz. Jan. 24, 2014). The Court strongly
discourages the Parties from footnoting their legal citations in any future submissions. See Kano v.
Nat’l Consumer Co-op Bank, 22 F.3d 899-900 (9th Cir. 1994).
ORDER - 2
the moving party’s reasons for seeking modification. If the
party was not diligent, the inquiry should end.
Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609 (citations omitted).
RMA’s proffered reasons for modification are that (1) RMA has diligently met
the Court’s deadlines thus far; (2) RMA will not be able to collect all the records it
needs by the discovery cutoff; and (3) new parties and new lawyers have joined the
case and need time “to get up to speed.” Dkt. # 30 at 3-4.
The Court does not find these reasons sufficient to overcome RMA’s burden to
show “good cause.” That RMA has managed not to violate the Court’s deadlines thus
far is an expected floor, not a ceiling, of professionalism when litigating in this forum.
Moreover, RMA made conclusory statements that it could not receive the necessary
records by December 22, 2017; conclusions, without more, are not persuasive in this
context. Notably, RMA nearly concedes that other parties in this matter have been
diligently progressing through the discovery process while RMA has been watching
from the sideline. See, e.g., Dkt. ## 30 at 3 (“Plaintiffs have deposed several . . .
employees[.]”) (emphasis added); 40 at 2 (stating that “the United States of America
was the party that noted the deposition of Plaintiffs” while RMA “attended and
participated in those deposition.”), 3 (“RMA also attended the six deposition of . . .
employees noted by Plaintiffs.”) (emphasis added). Finally, it is unclear why new
counsel—no doubt experienced attorneys—could not “get up to speed” in a case that is
not overly sophisticated or technical.
ORDER - 3
RMA has simply not met its burden to show “good cause” to modify the
Court’s scheduling order. For these reasons, the Court DENIES the motion. The
Court denies the motion without prejudice; RMA may refile should there appear to be
actual issues in receiving the required documents by the discovery cutoff.
Dated this 4th day of December, 2017.
The Honorable Richard A. Jones
United States District Judge
ORDER - 4
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