Initial Status Conference
Upon assignment of a case by consent or referral to Magistrate Judge Finnegan, an initial status conference will be set by means of a minute order except in Social Security cases. The parties need not file a written status report prior to the hearing unless one is requested by the Court.
Consistent with the scope of the consent or referral, the Court may set discovery schedules, briefing schedules, and other deadlines and timetables. Accordingly, the lead trial counsel for each party, or an attorney with substantial familiarity with and responsibility for the case, shall appear at the initial status conference and be prepared to discuss all aspects of the case. To the extent consistent with the scope of the consent or referral, the parties should be prepared to discuss the following subjects:
- Whether all necessary parties have been named and served;
- The basis for federal jurisdiction;
- The general nature of the claims and any counterclaims, and the major contested legal and factual issues;
- The nature of any responsive pleadings or motions that have been filed or are anticipated;
- The relief sought by plaintiff, the amount in controversy, elements of damages, and whether there is insurance coverage;
- The possibility of settlement;
- The nature, scope and scheduling of discovery, particularly discovery that is necessary to engage in meaningful settlement negotiations and so should be given priority;
- The probable length of any trial.