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Sjoberg v. Hawley

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 27, 2019

THOMAS SJOBERG, Plaintiff,
v.
HAWLEY, et al., Defendant.

          ORDER SCHEDULING SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE

          WILLIAM G. COBB, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pursuant to District Judge Miranda Du's order (ECF No.50) referring this matter to a settlement conference, a settlement conference is hereby scheduled to commence on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2019 at 10:00 A.M., before the undersigned Magistrate Judge, Courtroom Number Two, Bruce R. Thompson U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building, 400 South Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada.

         Subsequent to Plaintiffs attendance at a "global" settlement conference presided over by Magistrate Judge Cooke (ret) earlier this year, the U.S. District Court installed upgraded sound systems in the courtrooms of the Bruce R. Thompson courthouse. The enhanced sound system includes headphones with the capability to adjust the volume on the device. Plaintiff is directed to advise the court with a notice to the court whether he believes it is likely that he will be able to communicate satisfactorily with the utilization of sound-amplification headphones.

         I. ATTENDANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL AND CLIENT/CLIENT REPRESENTATIVES

         All counsel of record who will be participating in the trial of this case, all parties appearing pro se, if any, and all individual parties must be present.

         Unless excused by order of the court, clients or client representatives with complete authority to negotiate and consummate a settlement shall be in attendance at the settlement conference. This requires the presence of the client or if a corporate, governmental, or other organizational entity, an authorized representative of the client.

         For a Defendant, such representative must have final settlement authority to commit the organization to pay, in the representative's own discretion, a settlement amount, up to the Plaintiffs prayer, or up to the Plaintiffs last demand, whichever is lower. For a Plaintiff, such representative must have final authority, in the representative's own discretion, to authorize dismissal of the case with prejudice, or to accept a settlement amount down to the Defendant's last offer. If board approval is required to authorize settlement, the attendance of at least one sitting member of the board (preferably the chairperson) is absolutely required.

         Any insurance company that is a party or may be contractually required to defend or to pay damages, if any, assessed within its policy limits in this case must have a fully authorized settlement representative present. Such representative must have final settlement authority to commit the company to pay, in the representative's own discretion, an amount within the policy limits, or up to the Plaintiffs last demand, whichever is lower.

         The purpose of the requirement of personal attendance is to have a representative present who has both the authority to exercise his or her own discretion, and the realistic freedom to exercise such discretion without the negative consequences, in order to settle the case during the settlement conference without consulting someone else who is not present. In the event counsel for any party is aware of any circumstance which might cast doubt on a client's compliance with this paragraph, he/she shall immediately discuss the circumstance with opposing counsel to resolve it well before the settlement conference, and, if such discussion does not resolve it, request a telephone conference with the court and counsel.

         Counsel appearing for the settlement conference without their client representatives or insurance company representatives, unless authorized as described above, may cause the settlement conference to be canceled or rescheduled. If this occurs, the non-complying party, attorney or insurer may be assessed the costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees, incurred by other parties and the court as a result of such cancellation, as well as any additional sanctions deemed appropriate by the court. Counsel are responsible for timely advising any involved nonparty insurance company of the requirements of this order.

         II. PURPOSE OF SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE

         Obviously, the conference is intended to facilitate settlement of this case. It will be conducted in such a manner as not to 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, or to the trial judge. The undersigned, of course, will not serve as the trial judge in this case.

         At the settlement conference the parties, by counsel, may be requested to present a brief (5-10 minute) non-confrontational presentation outlining the factual and legal highlights of their case. [If the parties believe the initial joint session will be counter productive, please state so in your respective settlement briefs along with your rationale for same.] Thereafter, separate, confidential caucuses will be held with each party and/or the party's representative(s).

         III. PRE ...


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