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Mota v. Beacon Bay Asset Managment LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

May 31, 2018

ANNMARIE MOTA, Plaintiff,
v.
BEACON BAY ASSET MANAGEMENT, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [1]

          DAVID L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

This case has been referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order of reference from United States District Judge David C. Godbey. See Dkt. No. 38.

         After granting the Unopposed Motion to Withdraw as Counsel for Defendants Beacon Bay Asset Management, LLC (“Beacon Bay”) and James Virgil Willis [Dkt. No. 36] on April 27, 2018, see Dkt. No. 37, the Court entered an order on April 30, 2018 [Dkt. No. 39] observing that Beacon Bay “is a limited liability company, and, insofar as it is neither an individual nor a sole proprietorship, this defendant is not permitted to proceed pro se or through a non-attorney but rather must be represented by an attorney in litigation in federal court” - and, accordingly, requiring Beacon Bay to “cause new counsel to enter an appearance on its behalf in this case by no later than May 21, 2018.” Id. at 2 (citations omitted); see also Id. (warning Beacon Bay “that a failure to hire counsel to represent it by this deadline may result in appropriate measures, including possibly striking its defenses and entering a default judgment against it”). In response to that order, Willis (proceeding pro se on his own behalf) asked the Court to appoint counsel for Beacon Bay, see Dkt. No. 44, which the Court denied without prejudice, see Dkt. No. 49.

         Willis and Beacon Bay also filed a Motion to Extend Deadline Date for Discovery, see Dkt. No. 40, and Defendant Glenn Klupsak filed a Motion to Extend Discovery Deadline & Deadline to File All Motions, see Dkt. No. 41. Plaintiff Annmarie Mota filed a combined response to both motions, see Dkt. No. 43, and the defendants each filed replies, see Dkt. Nos. 47 & 48.

         Because Beacon Bay cannot proceed pro se or through Willis, the Court must DENY the Motion to Extend Deadline Date for Discovery [Dkt. No. 40] as to Beacon Bay.

         As for the Motion to Extend Deadline Date for Discovery for Willis, see Dkt. No. 40, and Klupsak's Motion to Extend Discovery Deadline & Deadline to File All Motions [Dkt. No. 41], the Court DENIES both motions for the reasons explained below.

         Legal Standards and Analysis

         The Court's Scheduling Order provides that “discovery closes” on May 15, 2018 and that “discovery requests must be served in time to permit response by this date” and that “all motions, including any objections to expert testimony, must be filed” by June 15, 2018. Dkt. No. 20 at 2. “This case is set for trial on September 10, 2018, ” and “[t]he parties shall file all pretrial materials 30 days before trial.” Id. at 1, 3.

         Willis asks the Court to extend the discovery deadline to July 15, 2018 and to extend the motions deadline to August 1, 2018 and contends that “[t]here are no Scheduling Order deadline dates that conflict with these requested changes.” Dkt. No. 40 at 2-3. He explains that, prior to his counsel's withdrawal, “Willis expected Counsel to proceed with notifications of Depositions of the Plaintiff by Counsel and possible further Discovery prior to the Discovery deadline of May 15, 2018, ” but “[a]ll legal duties, requirements and preparation will now fall onto Willis.” Id. at 2.

         Klupsak requests the same extended deadlines and contends that the requested extensions have “no effect on the trial date or other remaining schedules at this time.” Dkt. No. 41 at 1. He explains that he seeks the extended discovery deadline to allow time for “for what I may want to ask for” and that he “seeks relief from the Court due to the fact that I cannot afford legal representation and I am currently representing myself pro se, ” where “[t]he time expended to research and navigate the Federal and Local Court Rules is quite burdensome while working to earn a living” and, “[r]ecently, much of my time has been spent responding to multiple requests from Plaintiff's attorney” and also “contacting legal services in Dallas County to find affordable representation to no avail.” Id.

         Mota opposes Willis's and Klupsak's requests because

[t]his case is set for trial the week of September 10, 2018, which feels as if it is right around the corner. If Defendants are filing motions to challenge Plaintiff's expert in August, such a schedule would necessarily cause a postponement of the trial. Plaintiff has accommodated many requests for postponement of the Defendants but the extensions that Defendants are seeking now would materially impact Plaintiff's trial preparation. And Plaintiff cannot afford for the trial to be continued, as she has been suffering financially for so long as a result of the Defendants' conduct.

         Dkt. 43 at 1-2.

         In reply, Klupsak denies that he has previously requested a change in the deadlines established by the Court, takes issue with Mota's assertion that she is suffering any financial hardship as a result of losses in the IRA account that is the basis for this lawsuit, and reports that Mota's attorney waited until exactly 32 days prior to close of current Discovery deadline to send [him] a lengthy and overreaching Discovery and Production request which could have been sent months ago” and that “[t]his was completely unexpected and did not allow enough time for me to respond with my own discovery requests as it would have been well within the 30 days required before the discovery deadline.” Dkt. No. 47 at ...


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