Subject: Discovery Conference Scheduled - Could use pointers

Well, I won't be going to the CFS Rally and Lobby Days in Washington. Mary, I might send a statement to you if you want to ask someone to read it for me at the rally.

There has been no word at all from the judge on my Order To Show Cause. It was submitted 4/2/99, UNUM responded 4/16/99 (exactly 14 days after I submitted it, just inside the deadline). They are nothing if not consistent.

My scheduling conference is May 20, 1999. It says that the only excuse for continuance is if the lead attorney is actually in trial.

I need to come up with and submit to UNUM 14 days prior to this conference:

Attempt to confer for the purpose of:

1) preparing an agenda of matters to be discussed at the scheduling conference,

2) preparing a proposed pretrial schedule for the case that includes a plan for discovery, and

3) considering whether they will consent to trial by magistrate judge.

I must present UNUM with a written settlement proposal (and Harrington Hospital, which I guess is still a defendant), no later than 10 days before the date of the conference.

UNUM and I are supposed to prepare a Joint Statement of topics contemplated by Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b) and 26(f), a joing statement containing a proposed pretrial schedule, which shall include:

1) a joint discovery plan scheduling the time and length for all discovery events, that shall

a) conform to the obligation to limit discovery set forth in Fed. Ru. civ. P. 26(b), and

b) take into account the desirability of conducting phased discovery in which the first phase is limited to developing information needed for a realistic assesment of the case and, if the case does not terminate, the second phase is directed at information needed to prepare for trial; and

2) a proposed schedule for the filing of motions; and

3) certifications signed by counsel and by an authorized representative of each party affirming that each party and that party's counsel have conferred;

a) with a view to establishing a budget for the costs of conducting the full course - and various alternative courses of litigation; and

b) to consider the resolution of the litigation through the use of alternative dispute resolution programs such as those outlined in Local Rule 16.4.

To the extent that all parties are able to reach agreement on a proposed pretrial schedule, they shall so indicate. To the extent that the parties differ on what the pretrial schedule should be, they shall set forth separately the items on which they differ and indicate the nature of that difference. The purpose of the parties' proposed pretrial schedule or scheules shall be to advise the judge of the parties' best estimates of their amounts of time they will need to accomplish specified pretrial steps. The Parties' proposed agenda for the scheduling conference, and their proposed pretiral schedule or schedules, shall be considered by the judge as advisory only.


If anyone wished to share with me documents addressing these issues that I may use to model my settlement proposals and other issues, please send them to Judy Morris, MD 261 Bumstead Rd. Monson, MA 01057

If not I will continue to "wing it" as best I can.


I know it won't be easy but I haven't been able to find any lawyer that 1) can promise me they won't coerce me into an unfavorable settlement and gag order, after wearing me down, 2) didn't want large amounts of money up front or on an ongoing basis. 3) I've heard from too many people who lost their cases even though they had attorneys, and then they still owed the attorneys too.

I'm still talking to attorneys and law firms but meanwhile I have to comply with the deadlines of the court.


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Created: May 4, 1999
Last Updated: May 28, 2000