UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
October 19, 2007
IN RE PAYMENT CARD INTERCHANGE FEE AND MERCHANT DISCOUNT ANTITRUST LITIGATION
The opinion of the court was delivered by: James Orenstein, Magistrate Judge
This document refers to: ALL ACTIONS
In three recent submissions, the plaintiffs move for various forms of relief by means of a motion on notice pursuant to this court's Local Civil Rule 6.1. See Docket Entry ("DE") 771 (Plaintiffs' Notice of Motion and Motion to Compel Defendant First National Bank of Omaha to Produce Certain Documents); DE 776 (Plaintiffs' Notice of Motion and Motion to Declare as Not Privileged Certain Documents); DE 777 (Plaintiffs' Notice of Motion and Motion to Declare as Not Privileged Certain Documents). In each instance, the plaintiffs sought such relief without first requesting a pre-motion conference pursuant to Rule III.A.3 of my individual practice requirements.
At a conference on July 17, 2007, I stated my intention to adhere to my usual practice of requiring a pre-motion conference in advance of any formal motion on notice. As it appears that my articulation of that preference has apparently led to some misunderstanding, see DE 782 at 1 n.1; DE 783 at 1-2, I now clarify it. After acknowledging that the issues to be litigated would likely not be amenable to informal motion practice by letter, see Loc. Civ. R. 37.1 & 37.3, I turned to the pre-motion conference requirement. Although I explained that I did not want to multiply work for the parties' counsel, I did say that "just to make sure we will all be on the same page as to what is being addressed in a motion, I would want to have that kind of conference."
DE 735 at 55. My intention, however inartfully expressed, was to bring the parties together for a conference in advance of committing the resources needed for a full briefing on the merits in an attempt to narrow, or at least clearly identify, the issue to be resolved.
Accordingly, to avoid a further waste of resources, I will deem each of the improvidently submitted motions as a request for a pre-motion conference. Any party that wishes to respond to the request for a pre-motion conference may submit a letter explaining its position by October 24, 2007. As a result of the foregoing, the various applications for extensions of time to respond to the substantive motions, DE 780; DE 784, are moot. Finally, to the extent the parties' respective submissions also seek leave to file materials under seal in connection with the anticipated motion practice, I grant such relief.
JAMES ORENSTEIN U.S. Magistrate Judge
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