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David M. Soublet v. Louisiana Tax Commission

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA


February 3, 2011

DAVID M. SOUBLET
v.
LOUISIANA TAX COMMISSION

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sarah S. Vance United States District Judge

SECTION R

ORDER AND REASONS

Before the Court is defendant's Motion for Leave to File Witness and Exhibit List Out of Time.*fn1 Defendant filed its witness and exhibit list on January 11, 2011,*fn2 after the December 6, 2010 deadline provided by the scheduling order.*fn3 Plaintiff opposes defendant's motion.*fn4

A court has "broad discretion" to enforce its scheduling order. See Geiserman v. MacDonald, 893 F.2d 787, 790 (5th Cir. 1990). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(f) authorizes the Court to sanction a party's failure to comply with its scheduling order. Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(f). The Fifth Circuit has provided four factors that a court should consider in determining whether to exclude evidence because of a failure to comply with a scheduling order: (1) a party's explanation for its failure to comply with the scheduling order; (2) the importance of the proposed evidence; (3) potential prejudice to the opposing party in allowing the exhibits and/testimony; and (4) the availability of a continuance to cure such prejudice. Hamburger v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 361 F.3d 875, 883 (5th Cir. 2004) (listing factors to consider in reviewing the trial court's decision to exclude experts not timely designated in accordance with the scheduling order).

In this case, defendant explains that his failure to timely file his witness and exhibit list was inadvertent error. Although the Court admonishes the defendant for having failed to comply with the deadlines set forth in the scheduling order, excluding these witnesses and exhibits would severely prejudice the defendant. Plaintiff will not suffer substantial prejudice by the admission of this evidence. All of the witnesses listed on defendant's witness list are also listed on plaintiff's witness list. Further, plaintiff does not dispute defendant's assertion that plaintiff possesses all of the documents listed in defendant's exhibit list. In addition, plaintiff has made no suggestion that it requires additional time to prepare for trial as a result of defendant's untimely filing.

Accordingly, the Court GRANTS defendant's motion.

New Orleans, Louisiana, this 3rd day of February, 2011.


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