United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. KRINCEK, ESQ., Bar # 06417 Z. KATHRYN BRANSON, ESQ., Bar
#11540 LITTLER MENDELSON, P.C. Attorneys for Defendant
FITNESS ALLIANCE, LLC
STIPULATION AND PROPOSED ORDER TO STAY DISCOVERY
W. HOFFMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
VICTOR BANUETT (“Plaintiff”) and Defendant
FITNESS ALLIANCE, LLC (“Defendant”), by and
through their respective counsel, do hereby stipulate and
agree to stay discovery until the Court has ruled on
Defendant's Motion to Enforce Severance Agreement And
Dismiss Case With Prejudice (“Defendant's Motion to
Enforce”) (ECF No. 10).
have broad discretionary power to control discovery including
the decision to allow or deny discovery. See e.g.,
Little v. City of Seattle, 863 F.2d 681, 685 (9th
Cir. 1988). In evaluating the propriety of an order staying
or limiting discovery while a dispositive motion is pending,
the court considers the goal of Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 1, which provides that the Rules should “be
construed, administered, and employed by the court and the
parties to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive
determination of every action.” With Rule 1 as its
prime directive, the court must decide whether it is more
just to speed the parties along in discovery while a
dispositive motion is pending or to delay discovery to
accomplish the inexpensive determination of the case. See
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Tracinda Corp., 175
F.R.D. 554, 556 (D. Nev. 1997); see also Twin City Fire
Ins. v. Employers Insurance of Wausau, 124 F.R.D. 652,
653 (D. Nev. 1989).
in assessing a request to stay discovery, the court takes a
“preliminary peek” at the merits of the
dispositive motion. Tradebay, LLC, v. Ebay, Inc.,
278 F.R.D. 597, 603 (D. Nev. 2011). This “preliminary
peek” does not prejudge the outcome of the motion; it
merely evaluates whether an order staying discovery is
warranted. Id. Common examples of situations in
which good cause has been found to stay discovery are when
jurisdiction, venue, or immunity are preliminary issues.
Id. Ultimately, the party seeking the stay
“carries the heavy burden of making a strong showing
why discovery should be denied.” Id. (citing
Blankenship v. Hearst Corp., 519 F.2d 418, 429 (9th
Motion to Enforce warrants a stay of discovery. First, the
Motion is potentially dispositive of the entire case as it
seeks enforcement of the parties' Confidential Severance
Agreement and General Release (“Severance
Agreement”), wherein Plaintiff agreed to a release of
all claims relating to or arising from his employment with
Defendant in exchange for a severance payment. (ECF
No. 10, Exhibit B.) Each of the claims alleged in
his Complaint specifically arise out of and relate to his
employment with Defendant. This Court has inherent ability to
summarily enforce the Severance Agreement and dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint with prejudice. Dacanay v.
Mendoza, 573 F.2d 1075, 1078 (9th Cir. 1978).
Accordingly, the parties agree that Defendant's Motion to
Enforce is the type warranting a stay of discovery.
neither party will suffer hardship or inequity as a result of
stay because further discovery is unjustified at this point.
Defendant has moved to enforce the Severance Agreement,
which, if granted, will result in dismissal with prejudice of
the entire case. Also, the parties agree that discovery is
not necessary prior to the Court's determination as to
whether or not the Severance Agreement should be enforced and
Plaintiff's claims dismissed with prejudice. Requiring
the parties to conduct discovery on claims that Plaintiff
previously agreed not to bring before this Court would result
in an unnecessary expenditure of resources and is
particularly prejudicial to Defendant.
similar to the situation in Little, this is a case
where a temporary stay of discovery will further the goals of
judicial economy, control of the Court's docket, and an
inexpensive determination of the case. 863 F.2d at 685.
Ordering the parties to proceed with discovery could
potentially clog the Court's docket with discovery
disputes on claims that may be dismissed, with prejudice.
the parties have made the required showing to support their
joint request to stay discovery. For the reasons articulated
above, the Court should stay discovery until an Order has
been issued on Defendant's Motion to Enforce (ECF
No. 10). If Plaintiff's claims survive, then the
parties will conduct a Rule 26(f) conference and submit a
Discovery Plan and Scheduling Order at such future date to be
ordered by the Court.
SO ORDERED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if Defendant's
Motion to Enforce Severance Agreement and Dismiss Case with
Prejudice (ECF No. 10) is denied, the parties must meet and
confer and file a proposed stipulated discovery plan and