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Thomas v. Department of Treasury

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

August 13, 2019

STACEY THOMAS, In Her Official Capacity as Tax Commissioner for McDuffie County, Georgia, Petitioner,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY; INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE; and CARRIE SAMUELS, Defendants.

          ORDER SETTING MEDIATION

          BRIAN K. EPPS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         By request of the parties, the Court hereby schedules a mediation before the undersigned on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., in the United States District Courthouse, 600 James Brown Boulevard, Augusta, Georgia. Personal appearance by the parties is required to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the mediation by reducing the time for communication of offers and expanding the ability to explore options for settlement. A party representative with full settlement authority shall appear in person. If any party is insured for the claims at issue, a representative of the insurer with full settlement authority shall also appear in person.

         Mediation conferences are often unproductive unless the parties have exchanged demands and offers before the conference and have made a serious effort to settle the case on their own. Before arriving at the mediation, the parties are to negotiate and make a good faith effort to settle the case without involvement of the Court. Specific proposals and counter proposals shall be made.

         Each party shall submit, in confidence, a concise statement of the evidence the party expects to produce at trial to the undersigned via email to Courtnay_Capps@gas.uscourts.gov by 5:00 p.m., on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. The statements should include analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the case and outline the settlement negotiations to date. The statement is not to exceed ten typed pages, double-spaced.

         The mediation will be conducted in such a manner as to not prejudice any party in the event settlement is not reached. To that end, all matters communicated to the undersigned in confidence will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to any other party. The parties agree, by participating in the settlement conference, that any statements made or presented during the conference are confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent administrative or judicial proceedings. However, the undersigned will share the results of mediation with the presiding District Judge, including in the event of an unsuccessful mediation the last offers of the parties, the resulting gap mediation could not bridge, and the undersigned's assessment of whether additional mediation efforts may be successful.

         The parties, through counsel, should be prepared to begin the mediation with a brief presentation outlining the factual and legal highlights of the case. Separate, confidential caucuses will then be held with each party. Attached is an outline for counsel to review with the parties prior to the mediation to make the best use of the limited time allotted.

         The Court STAYS all remaining case deadlines pending mediation and will reset deadlines if necessary after the conclusion of the mediation process.

         SO ORDERED

         SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE PREPARATION

         Experience shows that in negotiations the party who is best prepared usually obtains the best result. Settlement conferences are more efficient if all parties and counsel are prepared. Consider the following points, some of which may not apply, to aid in the effectiveness of your settlement conference.

         A. FORMAT

         1. Parties with ultimate settlement authority must be personally present. If this is not possible, you must notify the judge in advance and discuss the alternatives.

         2. The Court will use a mediation format, and private caucusing with each side; the judge may address your client directly. The judge ...


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