United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
A. DOUGHTY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court is an Opposed Motion to Alter Scheduling Order, and
Alternatively to Permit Untimely Designation of Expert and
Fixing Date for Delivery of Defendant's Expert Report
(“Motion to Alter”) (Doc. 64), filed by Defendant
Crop Production Services, Inc. (“CPS”). Plaintiff
Franklin State Bank & Trust Company (“Franklin
State Bank”) opposes the motion. (Doc. 69). CPS
replied. (Doc. 70). Because CPS failed to show good cause,
CPS's Motion to Alter is denied.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(3)(A), the scheduling order must limit the
time to join other parties, amend the pleadings, complete
discovery, and file motions. Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4), a
schedule may be modified only for good cause and with the
court's consent. Squyres v. Heico Companies,
L.L.C., 782 F.3d 224, 237 (5th Cir. 2015). The Fifth
Circuit has explained that a party is required “to show
that the deadlines cannot reasonably be met despite the
diligence of the party needing the extension.”
Marathon Fin. Ins. Inc., RRG v. Ford Motor Co., 591
F.3d 458, 470 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting S&W Enters.,
LLC v. Southtrust Bank of Ala., NA, 315 F.3d 533, 535
(5th Cir. 2003)).
determining whether the movant has established “good
cause” for an extension of deadlines, the Court
considers four factors: (1) the party's explanation for
the requested extension; (2) the importance of the requested
extension; (3) the potential prejudice in granting the
extension; and (4) the availability of a continuance to cure
such prejudice. See Leza v. City of Laredo, 496
Fed.Appx. 375, 377 (5th Cir. 2012) (citing Reliance Ins.
Co. v. Louisiana Land & Exploration Co., 110 F.3d
253, 257 (5th Cir. 1997)); see also Geiserman v.
MacDonald, 893 F.2d 787, 790 (5th Cir. 1990) (using this
four-factor test to determine whether good cause exists for
an untimely submission of expert reports).
matter is set for jury trial beginning December 10, 2018.
(Doc. 45). Under the current scheduling order, all parties
must identify their experts to opposing parties by June 15,
2018, and CPS's expert reports must be delivered to
Franklin State Bank by July 26, 2018. (Doc. 45). The
scheduling order also establishes that experts must be
available for depositions during the two weeks prior to
September 19, 2018. (Doc. 45). The scheduling order further
provides special requirements for motions to extend
deadlines. (Doc. 45). “A motion to extend any deadline
shall include a statement that the granting of the motion
shall or shall not affect any other deadline or the trial
date . . . Therefore, motions for extensions of time must be
filed as soon as possible, but in any event, not later than
the day before the existing deadline.” (Doc. 45).
seeks to extend the deadline for their designation of expert
witnesses and additional lay witnesses to form experts'
opinions, the deadline for submission of CPS's expert
reports, and the deadline by which discovery should be
completed. (Doc. 64). Alternatively, CPS seeks to permit
untimely designation of expert and a fixing date for delivery
of CPS's expert report to Franklin State Bank. (Doc. 64).
CPS's only explanation appears to be that they were
either waiting to see what the other side would do, or
waiting for a decision that no expert testimony was needed.
(Docs. 64, 70). The potential testimony needed seems to be
unimportant, as CPS states “expert testimony would
probably be unnecessary and perhaps inappropriate.”
(Doc. 64). Given that CPS's assertion that expert opinion
is likely unwarranted in this case, the Court sees no good
cause to extend the deadline to obtain a contrary expert
opinion. (Doc. 64).
CPS failed to timely file its motion before the
existing deadline, as required by this Court's scheduling
order. (Doc. 45). Rather, CPS filed its motion well after the
deadline to identify experts. (Doc. 45). CPS submits Franklin
State Bank identified an expert on June 7, 2018, in response
to written discovery. (Doc. 64). CPS, therefore, had eight
days prior to the expert designation deadline to
either seek an extension or to retain an expert. Other than
its “wait and see” approach, CPS offers no other
explanation for its failure to timely move to amend the
scheduling order. (Docs. 64, 70). Thus, CPS has shown no
diligence in meeting the deadlines it seeks to extend.
See Bilbe v. Belsom, 530 F.3d 314, 317 (5th Cir.
2008) (the district court's decision regarding whether to
modify a scheduling order is afforded great deference,
especially where the facts of the case suggest a lack of
diligence on the part of the movant); S&W Enters.,
LLC, 315 F.3d at 535.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that CPS's Motion