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Foster v. 3M Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division

February 22, 2019

Marvin Foster, Plaintiff,
v.
3M Company, Defendant.

          RULE 26 INSTRUCTION ORDER

          R. STAN BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The above captioned case having recently been filed in this Court, the Court issues the following Order to provide instructions to the parties regarding their initial discovery obligations and to institute initial case management proceedings.

         I. Rule 26(f) Conference

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) requires the parties to confer, develop a proposed discovery plan, and submit a report to this Court. Subsequent to the filing of the report, a Scheduling Order must be entered pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b). Therefore, by the earlier of (1) sixty (60) days after any defendant has been served with the complaint; or (2) forty-five (45) days after any defendant has appeared, the parties shall confer as provided in Rule 26(f). See Local R. 26.1(a).[1] For removed cases, the parties shall be guided by the deadlines in Local Rule 26.1(e).

         During the Rule 26(f) Conference, the parties shall discuss the nature and bases of their claims and defenses, the possibilities for a prompt settlement or resolution of the case, and the scope, type, manner, and costs of discovery. The discussion of claims and defenses shall be a substantive, meaningful discussion. In addressing settlement or early resolution of the case, counsel shall not only explore the feasibility of alternative dispute resolution between themselves, but shall also discuss the potential for settlement and alternative dispute resolution with their clients as well. The parties shall also make or arrange for the disclosures required by Rule 26(a)(1) and develop their joint proposed scheduling/discovery plan. The parties shall use the updated Form Rule 26(f) Report for use in Judge Baker cases as a guide for their conference. These are only the minimum requirements for the meeting. The Court orders the parties to have a comprehensive discussion and to approach the meeting in good faith and with cooperation.

         II. Rule 26(f) Report

         Within fourteen (14) days after the required Rule 26(f) Conference, the parties shall submit to the Court a written Report outlining their discovery plan. See Local R. 26.1(b). The Report shall conform to the language and format of the Form Rule 26(f) Report for use in Judge Baker cases located on the Court's website www.gasd.uscourts.gov under “Forms.”[2] The parties must use that Form as well as this Instruction Order to guide their discussion at the Rule 26(f) Conference.

         The parties shall work together to prepare the Report, and the deadlines in the Report should be mutually agreeable, with a view to achieving resolution of the case with a minimum of expense and delay. To the extent the parties cannot agree on an item in the Report, they shall so indicate on the Report. A party who cannot gain the cooperation of any other party in preparing the Rule 26(f) Report shall advise the Court of the other party's failure to cooperate prior to the Report filing deadline.

         Should any party seek a stay of discovery or of their obligation to file the Rule 26(f) Report, or seek the extension of any other deadline in this case (including an extension of discovery, a deadline to respond to a motion, or to file any other pleading), the party shall first contact all other parties and determine if the other parties join in, consent to, or oppose the request. When filing the motion for an extension, the party requesting the extension must state in their motion whether the other parties join in, consent to, or oppose the request for a stay or an extension.

         III. Electronically Stored Information

         During the Rule 26(f) Conference, the parties shall specifically discuss the preservation and production of electronically stored information. That discussion shall include:

a. What electronic sources and records the party maintains and how the party's electronic data and records are stored;
b. The electronic sources and records each party will search, and the method of search that will be used (including any search terms);
c. The difficulty/ease of retrieving various data and information, and who will bear the costs of ...

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