United States District Court, W.D. Washington
THE TULALIP TRIBES and THE CONSOLIDATED BOROUGH OF QUIL CEDA VILLAGE, Plaintiffs,
THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, et al., Defendants THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Intervenor,
ORDER RE: JOINT PRETRIAL STATEMENT
BARBARA JACOBS ROTHSTEIN U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
Court is in receipt of the parties' Joint Pretrial
Statement and Appendices A-C (“JPS”). The JPS
lists over 30 deposition designations the parties intend to
submit; identifies nearly 85 witnesses; and in the 188-page
Appendix C, lists thousands of proposed exhibits and hundreds
of objections thereto. It is apparent from these submissions
that the parties have misunderstood the purpose and scope of
a pretrial conference, and failed to appreciate the
limitations of a 10-day trial. To name just a few problems
with the parties' submissions, the Court simply does not
have the resources, or the time left before trial, let alone
before the Final Pretrial Conference on May 4, to review and
rule on hundreds of admissibility objections, and there is no
conceivable way that for a 10-day trial the parties can ask
the Court to evaluate 85 witnesses, thousands of exhibits,
and dozens of deposition designations.
short, the parties have failed to present the Court with a
workable trial plan, which is essential to the fair and
efficient operation of a trial. Therefore, the parties are
directed to submit an amended Joint Pretrial Statement no
later than April 27, 2018, which shall include, at the very
least, the following:
the parties shall return to their unfinished task of
narrowing the list of exhibits that they actually intend to
offer at trial. The purpose of this exercise is to streamline
the introduction of exhibits during the trial, and to reduce
the trial time necessary to rule on admissibility; the
parties' failure to present a carefully tailored,
workable list at this stage simply means less time during
trial for substantive issues. The parties are reminded that
cumulative, irrelevant, and speculatively or marginally
probative material will not be countenanced. The parties are
further directed to provide the Court, no later than April
27, with electronic copies of the disputed exhibits so that
the Court may evaluate their admissibility, to the extent
possible, before trial.
of the parties to make meaningful reductions in the list of
disputed exhibits will force the Court to impose its own
limits, with an outcome that is likely to displease all
the Court directs the parties to exercise the same
selectiveness with their deposition designations as they are
being directed to exercise with their exhibit list. The
parties are cautioned that they should not plan on
circumventing a limitation on live witness testimony at trial
by submitting an unreasonable volume of deposition
designations. Again, in the absence of the parties'
restraint, the Court will be forced to impose its own
the parties are reminded, for at least a second time, that
cumulative expert testimony will not be allowed. Attempts to
offer it will be subject to sanction.
the JPS outlines dozens of disputed legal issues, and lists
some 1, 400 stipulated facts. What the Court needs at this
point is a short and plain statement of the disputed
material facts the Court will be asked to evaluate at trial.
The parties shall jointly prepare and include such statement
in their amended JPS, which statement shall not exceed one
Court takes this opportunity to rule on several outstanding
matters raised in the JPS. Plaintiffs have asked that the
Court permit the submission of rebuttal expert reports
“concurrent with the affirmative expert reports and
testimony to which they pertain.” Defendants object and
ask that such reports be offered only in rebuttal to their
case in chief. Rebuttal reports will not be allowed except in
rebuttal, as their name suggests.
expert Ian Smith, the Court has already ruled that Mr.
Smith's direct testimony may be given by expert report.
Plaintiffs shall serve that report no later than May 4, 2018.
Defendants may serve their response to that report no later
than May 10, 2018. The Court denies Plaintiffs' request
to submit a written reply to Defendants' response, as any
unresolved issues concerning the testimony may be addressed
a showing of good cause for live testimony, the direct
testimony of all expert witnesses shall be by written report.
parties should be prepared at the May 4 pretrial conference
to discuss any attempts they have made to return to
settlement negotiations since the October 2016 mediation; to
help the Court evaluate whether further mediation would be
productive; and, subject to such evaluation, to be ordered to
a final mediation before trial.
light of the excessive number of pretrial issues that remain
unresolved, the Court hereby schedules a second day on which
to continue the Pretrial Conference, if it ...