United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ON MOTION CALENDAR: June 14, 2017
JEFFREY H. WOOD Acting Assistant Attorney General United
States Department of Justice Environment & Natural
Resources Division Trent S.W. Crable, Wildlife & Marine
Resources Section, Attorneys for Federal Defendants.
Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC, Brian A. Knutsen, Attorneys
for Plaintiff Wild Fish Conservancy.
NASH GRAHAM & DUNN LLP, Douglas J. Steding, laine L.
Spencer, Attorneys for Intervenor-Defendant.
STIPULATED MOTION TO EXTEND CERTAIN PRE-TRIAL DATES,
ESTABLISH SUMMARY JUDGMENT BRIEFING SCHEDULE, AND STAY TRIAL
DATE AND [PROPOSED] ORDER
HONORABLE BARBARA J. ROTHSTEIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Wild Fish Conservancy (the "Conservancy"), Federal
Defendants the United States Environmental Protection Agency
("EPA") and its Administrator and the National
Marine Fisheries Service ("NMFS") and its Assistant
Administrator for Fisheries (collectively, "Federal
Defendants"), and Intervenor-Defendant Cooke Aquaculture
Pacific, LLC ("Cooke"), hereby respectfully move
the Court under Rule 6(b) for an order extending certain
pre-trial deadlines by approximately 45 days and establishing
a briefing schedule for cross-motions for summary judgment.
The Conservancy, Federal Defendants, and Cooke (collectively,
the "Parties") further move the Court under LCR
7(f) for an order allowing over-length briefs on the
cross-motions for summary judgment. Finally, the Parties move
the Court for an order staying the trial commencement date
and certain pre-trial dates pending the Court's ruling on
the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. In
accordance with the Court's Standing Order for Civil
Cases, the Parties have conferred on this motion and jointly
request the relief sought herein. See ECF No. 43 at
BACKGROUND AND ARGUMENT.
Parties request an extension of certain deadlines because,
despite diligent efforts, discovery is continuing to require
more time than initially anticipated. The Parties therefore
respectfully submit that good cause exists to extend certain
pretrial dates by approximately 45 days. Further, the Parties
anticipate that significant issues with respect to liability,
and potentially all liability issues, will be resolved on
cross-motions for summary judgment. The Parties therefore
seek an order setting a briefing schedule and extending the
page limit for cross-motions for summary judgment on
liability issues. Finally, the Parties request that the Court
stay the trial commencement date and certain pre-trial
deadlines pending the Court's ruling on the cross-motions
for summary judgment.
Conservancy filed its complaint on November 4, 2015, and an
amended complaint on February 9, 2016. ECF Nos. 1, 18. The
Federal Defendants filed their answer to the amended
complaint on February 23, 2016. ECF No. 23. The Court granted
an unopposed motion to intervene filed by Cookes's
predecessor-the owner and operator of commercial finfish
aquaculture facilities in Puget Sound-on February 29, 2016.
ECF No. 27. The Court entered an order recognizing
Cooke's name change on August 31, 2016. ECF No. 41.
Court entered a scheduling order on July 20, 2016. ECF No.
38. That order required that, inter alia, expert
reports be disclosed by February 21, 2017, discovery be
completed by April 21, 2017, and dispositive motions be filed
by May 22, 2017. Id. at p. LA bench trial was
scheduled for September 18, 2017.
February 1, 2017, the parties submitted a joint motion to
extend those dates. ECF No, 44. The Court granted that motion
on February 8, 2017, ordering: expert witness reports due by
June 20, 2017; all discovery motions due by July 20, 2017;
the completion of discovery by August 21, 2017; dispositive
motions due by September 19, 2017; motions in limine due by
November 27, 2017; joint pretrial statement due by December
19, 2017; the pretrial conference set for January 2, 2018;
and the bench trial set for January 16, 2018. ECF No. 45.
Conservancy's amended complaint alleges four claims
related to the requirement that EPA and NMFS consult under
section 7 of the Endangered Species Act ("ESA") on
the effects to ESA-listed species from EPA's approval of
certain water quality standards under the Clean Water Act
("CWA"). ECF No. 18, pp. 19-21. The water quality
standards at issue pertain to finfish aquaculture facilities
in Puget Sound. Id. at pp. 15-16. The factual and
legal issues involved in the claims and defenses are somewhat
complex and discovery efforts have taken longer than the
Parties recognize the Court's instruction that motions
for extensions of time are discouraged. See ECF No.
43 at 2. The Parties are making every effort to diligently
complete discovery in a cooperative manner, but respectfully
request an extension of approximately 45- days for certain
discovery-related deadlines-the deadline for Rule ...