REPORT OF PRE-FILING CONFERENCE UNDER LOCAL RULE 56
We discussed the issues raised in the defendants' pre-filing conference memorandum and the plaintiff's response. After hearing the discussion particularly with respect to whether a signed release precluded liability on all claims for the defendant Parker's statements, I stated that if the defendants filed their motion for summary judgment and the plaintiff filed a proper affidavit or declaration under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(d), I would allow discovery before the plaintiff had to respond.
The discussion also revealed that the issue of proper notice under the Maine Tort Claims Act does not involve a factual dispute, but is an issue of law; that the defendants have now provided information about insurance to the plaintiff demonstrating that the state agency defendant is immune from liability under the Maine Tort Claims Act; and that the state law claim against the individual defendant is capped at $10,000 and that there will be a dispute over discretionary function immunity.
If discovery proceeds on the case a whole, it can be completed in four months, and promises to be limited discovery as described at the conference.
By January 18, 2012, the defendants' lawyer shall notify the court and opposing counsel whether she plans to file her summary judgment motion now or wait until discovery is complete. If she decides to file it now, I will set filing deadlines, and will allow discovery if the plaintiff makes a proper filing under Rule 56(d). If the defendants elect to defer their motion at this time, I will issue a Scheduling Order for the entire case allowing a discovery period of four months.
D. BROCK HORNBY