Good Cause to Modify Scheduling Order under Rule 16(b)(4) “Primarily Considers the Diligence of the Party Seeking the Amendment” — Absent Diligence, the Inquiry Should End

Hall v. City of Fairfield, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146444 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 19, 2011):

Defendants move for an order "authoriz[ing] the disclosure of a supplemental expert witness" in this case. (Mot. 2:4-5, ECF No. 68.) Defendants seek in this motion to "amend[] the prior Pretrial Order and allow both parties to disclose video experts, with the supplemental disclosures to be completed approximately thirty days following the Court's granting of Defendants' motion and both parties allowed the opportunity to provide rebuttal experts approximately thirty days thereafter." (Mot. 4:15-19.) A pretrial scheduling order issued on June 22, 2010, scheduling April 21, 2011 as the deadline  [*2] for disclosure of expert witnesses and September 21, 2011 as the discovery completion date. (ECF No. 16.)

However, the pretrial scheduling order may only be modified if the movant for modification shows that "good cause," prescribed in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(4), justifies the modification. "Rule 16(b)'s 'good cause' standard primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the amendment." Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992). "If [the moving party] was not diligent, the inquiry should end." Id.

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