Initial Status Conference
Upon assignment of cases by consent or referral to Magistrate Judge Weisman, an initial status conference generally will be set by a minute order. The parties need not file a written status report unless requested by the Court.
The Court will attempt to set discovery schedules, briefing schedules, and other deadlines and timetables at the initial status conference, as appropriate. Accordingly, the lead trial counsel for each party, or an attorney with substantial familiarity with and responsibility for the case, should 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, including, without limitation, the determination of membership and citizenship for business entities where diversity forms the basis of 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; and
- The probable length of any trial.
Judge Weisman encourages the parties to prepare a more detailed presentation of issues when complexity so requires.