16(b) Notice



IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA



NOTICE AND ORDER TO ALL ATTORNEYS AND PARTIES

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NOTE: THIS JUDGE DOES NOT REQUIRE FULL COMPLIANCE WITH FED. R. CIV. P. 26 OR COMPLIANCE WITH LOCAL RULE 26. THE MEETING AND JOINT REPORT IS NOT REQUIRED. THE PARTIES WILL COMPLY WITH FED. R. CIV. P.26(a)(1)-(4). DISCLOSURES UNDER RULE 26(a)(1) WILL BE MADE WITHIN 20 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER. DISCLOSURES UNDER FED. R. CIV. P. 26(a)(2) WILL BE MADE BY PLAINTIFF(S) WITHIN 60 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS ORDER AND BY DEFENDANT(S) WITHIN 80 DAYS FROM SAID DATE. DISCLOSURES UNDER FED. R. CIV. P. 26(a)(3) WILL BE MADE WITHIN 60 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THIS ORDER. PLAINTIFF(S) WILL FILE ANY AMENDMENTS AS TO CLAIMS OR PARTIES WITHIN 45 DAYS OF THIS ORDER. DEFENDANT(S) WILL FILE ANY AND ALL AMENDMENTS WITHIN 50 DAYS OF THIS ORDER. UNLESS FURTHER ORDERED BY THE COURT, DEPOSITIONS WILL BE LIMITED TO 10 PER PARTY. EACH PARTY SHALL HAVE A MAXIMUM OF 40 INTERROGATORIES AND/OR REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION (TOTAL) AND A MAXIMUM OF 25 REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION.

Any attorney who participates in discovery beyond the time allowed by order(s) of court will be subject to contempt, sanctions and disciplinary action.

Pursuant to Rule 16(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court contemplates causing the following time limits to apply to this case. If an attorney or party has any objection to, or suggested modification of the indicated schedule, he, she, should file a notice within 15 days from

the date hereof with the Clerk of Court setting forth such objection or suggestion. If no such notice is filed, the following maximum time limits apply to this case:

1. Discovery except as to expert witnesses must be commenced in time to be completed within 90 days after the entry of this order or within 150 days after the action was commenced in this court, whichever is later. Discovery as to expert witnesses is extended by an additional 30 days.

2. All motions for summary judgment must be filed within 90 days of this order.

All parties should give early consideration to the possibility of settlement in order to avoid unnecessary costs and fees. The court suggests that the attorneys for all parties make an early analysis of the case along with their clients and be prepared to discuss settlement at an early date. The court has noted that parties often exacerbate costs merely because the parties and their attorneys become enamored of litigation and fail to consider resolution. Often the parties incur significant costs to "discover" evidence which is readily accessible. Often cases are settled near trial date with no more substantial information than would have been available early on upon slight investigation. If any party is of the opinion that it would be helpful for the court to conduct a settlement conference at any stage, that party may make a request that the court conduct such a conference. Such party should be prepared to suggest a reasonable basis for consideration of a settlement and be prepared to make a reasonable offer or acceptance. Each attorney is directed to immediately forward a copy of this order to his or her client. Plaintiff(s)' attorney(s) are directed to immediately discuss the feasibility of settlement with defendant(s)' attorney(s). All attorneys will, within 15 days, certify to the court, by document filed with the Clerk, that they have complied with the orders of the court in this paragraph. Failure to do so may result in sanctions.

All parties have a continuing duty to dismiss, at the earliest possible time, all claims and defense(s) against all parties as to whom it is determined that there is no reasonable basis for maintaining the claim(s) or defense(s). Parties are advised that if all federal claims are dismissed, voluntarily or involuntarily, the court may not retain supplemental state claims. Motions to compel in discovery matters should, after attempts at resolution have failed, be filed promptly so as to avoid delays in preparation.

If the complaint contains class action allegations, a motion for class certification must be filed within 30 days of the date of this order or the allegations will be considered abandoned.

In cases in which parties may be claiming attorney fees at any time, this court will not allow fees involving the presence of more than two attorneys for a party (or parties represented by the same attorney(s)) at any hearing or deposition unless, within 15 days, a request is filed which gives specific reasons for the need for more than two attorneys and the court approves the request. This is not to suggest that even two attorneys will be deemed to be reasonable.

SPECIAL NOTE

The court is amenable to appointing, on request, court expert(s) to testify at trial. Those who desire objectivity may wish to consider this route.

The parties should review Worldwide Primates, Inc. v. McGreal, 26 F.3d 1089 (11th Cir. 1994) and Worldwide Primates, Inc. v. McGreal, F.3d (July 16, 1996), and dismiss any claims or defenses not on legal theories or purported facts not supported after appropriate investigation.

ROBERT B. PROPST

SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE