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Gardner v. Burton

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

December 4, 2019

JACOB GARDNER, Plaintiffs,
v.
ROBERT ANTHONY BURTON; YRC, INC. d/b/a YRC FREIGHT; OLD REPUBLIC INSURANCE CO.; and XYZ COMPANIES 1-3, Defendants.

          ORDER AND NOTICE OF TRIAL PREPARATION REQUIREMENTS

          R. STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The motions deadline in this case having passed without the case being disposed of in its entirety, the Court issues the following Instruction Order regarding the parties' ongoing obligations in preparing the case for trial.

         I. Trial Preparation Conference Between/Among the Parties

         In an effort to streamline the parties' preparations for pretrial and trial-related proceedings, the Court hereby ORDERS lead counsel for all parties to confer (in person or via teleconference) within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order to discuss the activities and filings each party anticipates undertaking in order to prepare the case for trial (hereinafter, the “Trial Preparation Conference”).[1] Prior to conferring with opposing counsel, counsel for all parties shall read the Court's “General Trial Instructions and Procedures for Judge Baker's Civil Cases” which is located at: www.gasd.uscourts.gov/Judge-Baker-Civil-Cases. The parties shall use those Instructions and Procedures as well as the Joint Trial Preparation Report form as a guide for their conference. The parties are additionally ordered, during the conference, to discuss the potential for settlement. The Court ORDERS the parties to have a comprehensive discussion during the conference and to approach the conference in good faith and with a spirit of cooperation.

         II. Joint Trial Preparation Report and Proposed Trial Preparation Scheduling Order

         The parties are ORDERED to prepare and file with the Court, within fourteen (14) days after the required Trial Preparation Conference, a Joint Trial Preparation Report (hereinafter the “Report”) using the form for use in Judge Baker's cases, which is available on the Court's website.[2] Additionally, the parties must prepare and file a joint proposed Trial Preparation Scheduling Order (hereinafter the “proposed Scheduling Order”) using the form available on the Court's website.[3]The parties shall file the proposed Scheduling Order as an attachment to their Report and shall also email a version in Word format to Judge Baker's Courtroom Deputy Clerk. The parties are advised that, when preparing their proposed Scheduling Order, they should calculate the proposed deadlines from the date of the Trial Preparation Scheduling Conference, which will be held with the Court on the date set forth in Section III below. Additionally, the deadlines submitted by the parties are merely proposals and are not in effect or binding. The Court will enter a final Trial Preparation Scheduling Order establishing the effective deadlines after the Trial Preparation Scheduling Conference with the Court.

         The parties shall work together to prepare the Report and proposed Scheduling Order, and the proposed deadlines in the Report and proposed Scheduling Order should be mutually agreeable, with a view to achieving trial preparation and/or resolution of the case with minimum expense and delay. To the extent the parties cannot agree on an item in the Report, they shall so indicate in the Report. Counsel for the plaintiff(s) shall have the responsibility to initiate compliance with the instructions in this Order and to file the Report and proposed Scheduling Order. A party who cannot gain the cooperation of any other party in conferring or preparing the Report and proposed Scheduling Order shall advise the Court of the other party's failure to cooperate prior to the Report and proposed Scheduling Order filing deadline. Should a party fail to comply with the requirements of this Order, the Court may dismiss the Complaint or strike any Defendant's Answer or impose other sanctions deemed appropriate by the Court.

         Should any party seek a stay of the case or seek an extension of their obligation to file the Report and proposed Scheduling Order, 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 a stay or 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.

         In developing the Joint Trial Preparation Report and proposed Trial Preparation Scheduling Order, the parties should take the following into consideration:

(a) Purpose of the Joint Trial Preparation Report.
The Court will use the Report, following its Trial Preparation Scheduling Conference with counsel (see Section III below), to draft a final Trial Preparation Scheduling Order. It is the Court's desire and expectation to fashion a schedule that permits the expeditious resolution of this matter while allowing the parties and the Court sufficient time to prepare for trial. To that end, the parties shall contemplate the specific circumstances of this case and propose a schedule that accommodates the actions that need to be completed prior to trial.
(b) Last Minute Motions, Objections, and Designations Disallowed.
It is the Court's experience that the administration of justice is better served when all motions in limine, complex objections, and exhibit and deposition designations and objections thereto are resolved well in advance of trial. Thus, absent an extraordinary showing, the Court will not allow such issues to be raised ...

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