United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER [DOCKET NO. 11]
J. Koppe, United States Magistrate Judge.
before the Court is Experian's motion to extend the
deadline to respond to the complaint by 21 days. Docket No.
11. Plaintiff filed a response, and Defendant filed a reply.
Docket Nos. 14, 17. The Court declines to expend further
resources by holding a hearing on this petty dispute, so the
motion will be decided on the papers. See Local Rule
instant motion practice centers on a dispute between
Plaintiff and Experian whether to agree to extend the
deadline for Experian to respond to the complaint without an
agreement by Experian to participate in a Rule 26(f)
conference prior to responding to the complaint. This is not
the first time counsel have engaged in motion practice on
this issue. A few weeks ago, the undersigned summarily
granted Experian's motions in two other cases
notwithstanding the plaintiff's concerns over a
“piecemeal” Rule 26(f) process. Mintun v.
Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, Case No.
2:19-cv-00033-JAD-NJK, Docket No. 8 (D. Nev. Jan. 24, 2019);
see also id., Docket No. 5 at 2 (opposition brief);
Wilson v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, Case No.
2:19-cv-00055-RFB-NJK, Docket No. 8 (D. Nev. Jan. 24, 2019);
see also, id., Docket No. 5 at 5 (opposition brief).
United States Magistrate Judge Carl W. Hoffman did the same
in a third case. See Woodward v. Equifax Info. Servs.,
LLC, Case No. 2:19-cv-00019-APG-CWH, Docket No. 18 (D.
Nev. Jan. 28, 2019); see also id., Docket No. 8 at 2
(opposition brief). Around the same time, United States
Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach indulged the parties by
holding a hearing on the same dispute raised in two
additional cases. See Docket No. 17-1 (transcript of
hearing from February 8, 2019). Judge Ferenbach granted
Experian's motions to extend, as there was sufficient
justification for an extension and no meaningful prejudice to
the plaintiffs with respect to the Rule 26(f) process.
See, e.g., id. at 16 (“[W]hat's
the big deal to having separate 26(f) conferences? I
don't see that, that it's a problem”). Judge
Ferenbach further explained that counsel “should be
able to work these things out. [The Court] really
shouldn't have to get a motion like this.”
Id. (emphasis added); see also Id. at 3
(“It's unusual to have to deal with a dispute over
extension of time to respond to an original pleading”).
In short, three magistrate judges have ruled in five cases
that similar extensions requested by Experian should be
allowed, while further signaling that this is not a dispute
that should require motion practice. Undeterred by these five
recent orders, however, Plaintiff's counsel (Miles Clark)
again refused in this case to agree to Experian's request
to stipulate to extend the time to respond to the complaint
by a relatively modest 21 days and counsel have instead
engaged in further motion-practice rehashing the same issues.
turning to the merits of this dispute, the Court has words of
caution for counsel- particularly, for Mr.
Clark. Obstructive refusal to make reasonable
accommodation not only impairs the civility of our profession
and the pleasures of the practice of law, but also needlessly
increases litigation expense to clients. See, e.g.,
Kondrk v. Towbin Dodge LLC, 2015 WL 13683019, at *1
(D. Nev. Nov. 18, 2015). Counsel are required to conduct
themselves with professionalism, civility, and practicality.
See, e.g., Local Rule 1-1(c); Fed.R.Civ.P. 1. These
dictates are especially important in instances (like this
one) in which the same attorneys are litigating dozens, if
not hundreds, of cases against one another. See, e.g.,
Olesczuk v. Citizens One Home Loans, 2016 U.S. Dist.
Lexis 153342, at *3 (D. Nev. Nov. 4, 2016). The Court expects
counsel to take a deep breath, attempt to reset their
relationship with one another, and to better fulfill their
obligations moving forward. Failure to heed this warning may
lead to repercussions significantly greater than the issuance
of a stern order.
to the merits of the dispute, the Court will not engage in
what-in the context of this case-is essentially an academic
exercise of interpreting the local rules. Experian has
established sufficient justification for the requested 21-day
extension. Accordingly, the Court will GRANT
the motion to extend Experian's deadline to respond to
the complaint to April 15, 2019. Regardless of the
parties' competing positions as to the minutia of the
applicable local rule, the Court has not been presented with
sufficient justification to require a Rule 26(f) conference
prior to April 15, 2019. Instead, the Rule 26(f) conference
will take place at 9:00 a.m. on April 22, 2019. Given the
acrimony between counsel, the Rule 26(f) conference will be
in-person and face-to-face at least with respect to counsel
for Plaintiff and Experian. The Rule 26(f) conference shall
include a discussion between counsel for Plaintiff and
Experian, of at least ten minutes in duration, of the ways in
which they propose mending their relationship so that they
can proceed with litigating this case in accordance with the
Court's expectations of civility and professionalism.
 Mr. Clark has the temerity to accuse
Experian of engaging in scorched-earth litigation tactics,
see, e.g., Resp. at 2, when the record is entirely
clear that he has done so. As noted above, Mr. Clark has
ignored orders issued by three magistrate judges in five
cases and instead pushed forward to full motion-practice on
what should be a routine courtesy. Mr. Clark's refusal to
stipulate to the relief sought also stemmed from, inter
alia, his quibbling over Experian's counsel's
use in an email of the term “motion or stipulation to
extend time” and whether the parties took ...