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Brumback v. Wurth Baer Supply Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

July 2, 2019

STEVEN D. BRUMBACK, Plaintiff,
v.
WURTH BAER SUPPLY COMPANY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Joseph M. Hood, Judge

         In civil litigation, deadlines are of crucial importance and time is usually not on the side of those who treat deadlines cavalierly. In this action, Plaintiff moved to modify certain dates in the scheduling order. Specifically, Plaintiff requested an extension of time in which to identify expert witnesses and for an extension of expert or opinion discovery.

         But here, Plaintiff's motion fails to demonstrate good cause that justifies modifying the scheduling order. Any need for additional time to identify an expert witness or complete expert discovery appears to be of Plaintiff's making since Plaintiff filed requests for written discovery almost two months late. As a result, Plaintiff's motion to modify the scheduling order is DENIED.

         I. Procedural Background

         On June 5, 2019, Plaintiff moved to modify the deadline for identification of expert witnesses and the deadline for completion of expert discovery. [DE 18]. In the Court's initial scheduling order, the deadline for the Plaintiff to identify expert witnesses was on June 1, 2019, and the deadline for completion of expert or opinion discovery falls on July 15, 2019. [DE 15].

         The Court ordered expedited briefing on the motion to modify the scheduling order. [DE 19]. Defendant responded in opposition. [DE 20]. Plaintiff did not reply in support of the motion and the time to reply has passed. As a result, this matter is ripe for review.

         II. Analysis

         Plaintiff argues that amendment of the scheduling order is required because the Defendant, at least at the time the motion for amendment was filed, had not responded to written discovery requests. But Defendant's response in opposition tells a different story. As Plaintiff admits and Defendant notes, it appears that Plaintiff made written discovery requests on April 26, 2019, over two months past the February 21, 2019, deadline for written discovery requests in the Court's scheduling order. As such, any need for additional time to identify potential expert witnesses or complete expert discovery appears to have been caused by Plaintiff's lack of due diligence. As a result, Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that the deadlines could not be reasonably met despite due diligence on the part of the Plaintiff.

         Moreover, Plaintiff has also failed to demonstrate that Defendant will not suffer prejudice as a result of modification to the scheduling order. If the requested extensions are granted, they will likely require other deadlines and hearings in the Court's scheduling order to be moved. These more extensive modifications will likely relay the entire litigation and may prejudice the Defendant. Furthermore, granting Plaintiff's requested extensions will likely shorten the amount of time for Defendant to file dispositive motions. As such, it appears that the requested extensions may prejudice the Defendant.

         In sum, Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate good cause that justifies modifying the scheduling order. As a result, Plaintiff's motion must be denied.

         A. Legal Standard

         Plaintiff moves for modification of the scheduling order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6. But, as this Court previously explained in another case, Rule 16 governs modifications to scheduling orders. Century Indem. Co. v. Begley Co., 323 F.R.D.237, 240 (E.D. Ky. 2018).

         Still, that does not mean that Rule 6 has no applicability. This Court has acknowledged that the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has never adequately grappled with the interplay between Rules 6 and Rule 16. See Id. at 240-41. Both rules are addressed below.

         B. ...


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