DUTY TO MEET AND CONFER? What the heck does THAT entail?

Rule 3.724 DUTY TO MEET AND CONFER – Linda Ayres vs. STATE FARM et al – CIV SB 2106284

 

Defense Guy:

As I wrote , I will proceed per Code re deadline for your discovery responses As well as filing our responsive pleadings . You are mistaken re the conflated meet-and-confer issues and I again suggest you retain counsel forthwith. 
 
 
In Response to this:
 
Dear Scott Greene (on behalf of AEG) and All:
 
I have just reviewed again your recent emails. It looks like we have much to do before a hearing in the Meet-And-Confer department. It looks like the Court may require postponement of the initial hearing, scheduled for October 5, 2021 till at least 30 days after each party was served the FAC.  
 
Since you are not able to agree to voice recording of such a meeting over the phone or zoom as an accommodation to my disabilities, I may suggest that we meet in person in order to comply with the preliminary Meet and Confer requirements if we cannot successfully meet the duty via correspondence,  How shall we proceed with that?  [That same suggestion is meant for all parties who will be reaching out soon.]
 
I don’t seem to have a copy of your filed Pleading/Response??  We still have to have our perfunctory meet-and-confer event,.
 
First of all, we did agree that we could achieve the Duty to meet and confer, via email. 2021 California Rules of Court – Rule 3.724 Duty to meet and confer which was not met by your August 31, 2021 at 2:33pm email.  
 
The Rule clearly states:
 
“Unless the court order another time period, no later than 30 days before the date set for the initial case management conference, the parties must meet and confer, in person or by telephone, to consider each of the issues identified in rule *3.727, and in addition, to consider the following:


(1)  Resolving any discovery disputes and setting a discovery schedule;

(2)  Identifying and, if possible, informally resolving any anticipated motions;

(3)  Identifying the facts and issues in the case that are uncontested and may be the subject of stipulation;

(4)  Identifying the facts and issues in the case that are in dispute;

(5)  Determining whether the issues in the case can be narrowed by eliminating any claims or defenses by means of a motion or otherwise;

(6)  Determining whether settlement is possible;

[Maybe not, after that response! Figuring out what’s next from here…  I AM OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!!

Sheeeeezh! Dealing with attorneys in litigation is not supposed to be like walking on eggs shells in a bad relationship, is it?! 

Sure feels like disability discrimination and elder abuse, ALL OVER AGAIN!! DARN IT!  ]

(7)  Identifying the dates on which all parties and their attorneys are available or not available for trial, including the reasons for unavailability;

(8)  Any issues relating to the discovery of electronically stored information, including:

(A)  Issues relating to the preservation of discoverable electronically stored information;

(B)  The form or forms in which information will be produced;

(C)  The time within which the information will be produced;

(D)  The scope of discovery of the information;

(E)  The method for asserting or preserving claims of privilege or attorney work product, including whether such claims may be asserted after production;

(F)  The method for asserting or preserving the confidentiality, privacy, trade secrets, or proprietary status of information relating to a party or person not a party to the civil proceedings;

(G)  How the cost of production of electronically stored information is to be allocated among the parties;

(H)  Any other issues relating to the discovery of electronically stored information, including developing a proposed plan relating to the discovery of the information; and

(9)  Other relevant matters.

Rule 3.724 amended effective August 14, 2009; adopted effective January 1, 2007.

The highlighted sections above and below are clearly matters of serious concern to be addressed before moving forward.
 
Because you are unable/unwilling to accommodate my disabilities with permissions to record telephone or zoom calls, I am still in agreement that we can conduct the “meet and confer” requirements via correspondence, with hard copy served by mailed to me, and courtesy email copies, with the Judge’s permission, from you and all defendants and their representatives.  I think the Judge may want to rule on this, as the lack of order and sequencing also seems to be spinning way out of control.
 
Your assumption that I can be served electronically rather than in person is also just that, an assumption.  
 
I will need now and at all times going forward, from all defendants and defense firms, a complete hardcopy file and stipulation to meet before any time limit begins to run.  
 
Due to my disabilities, and my rural internet connections, I must have hard copy of all services to my PO Box; the street address does not have consistent mail delivery service.  If that can be accomplished INCLUDING electronic courtesy copies, that might serve as an accommodation for the refusal of permission to record telephone or zoom calls. The Judge may need to rule on that unless these are these things that we have the duty resolve before court?
 
I object to the demand for the production of documents and form interrogatories at this time as we have not met our duty to meet and confer, and you haven’t answered the Complaint yet, nor have I been served with your answer, in person with a courtesy email copy.  
 
I did extend several questions to your legal assistant as it relates clearly to item 8 of Rule 3.724 – Duty to meet and confer — and issues relating to the discovery of electronically stored information….which will have to be resolved before I can commence any compilation efforts.
 
If you (and all) are unwillling to resolve these matters and get communications back on track, I can only ask the Judge for sanctions, should these acts be considered malicious and in bad faith and trickery.
 
As you know, intentional misrepresentation and Discrimination Against Elder with disclosed Disabilities is a huge part of this Complaint. 
 
I would not imagine that you would have heard back from any other defendants/defense firms yet.  Five have only just been served with the FAC – First Amended Complaint, and the others are starting the 30 day clock for response to the First Amended Complaint from date of personal service, per the Court Rules.
 
 
[My rural internet has been compromised for the past 10 days and required a change of vendor, so I’m now behind in review of your August 31, 2021 email, but I am catching up while still working on internet resolutions.]  
 
Have you since filed that demurr and companion motions to strike with the Court, and that’s what the hearing is about on 10/26/21?
Or something else? We will also address production of documents and interrogatories without the meeting and confer duties?  It’s my understanding that the Meet and Confer meeting(s) must happen before Court.  
 
It’s my understanding that we don’t start with demands for production of documents and interrogatories until after the meet and confer and the FAC has been answered to the Court, so we will table response to those demands until it’s proper time and sequence comes up, which, I suspect, is after the 10/26/21 hearing, which will take place after the 10/5/2021 hearing  with all parties.  I have marked my calender to be in San Bernardino Superior Court also on 10/26/21 at 9 am.
 
Excerpt from your email:

“Re scheduling, our responsive pleading is due in 30 days so the meet-and-confer should occur before that.

We can satisfy that meet-and-confer either by email, telephone or Zoom call as you proposed.

We will not agree to recording.

 

I don’t know what any of the other counsel are doing and I need to focus on my own defense.

The pleading issues would need to be resolved at the outset before evidentiary issues or mediation or trial.

Ideally you will locate an attorney to handle the case for you.

Thank you again.”

I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS:    

“Your motion date is ____10/26/21________ at _09:00______am in department __S22______.

Parties are required to file their civil motion and submit the filing fees within five (5) court days from the date of receipt of the confirmation email.”

 

Is that referencing your Answer/Pleadings, that is supposed to come after Meet and Confer, not before?

 

By copy to all known defense firms and defendants who have not, as yet, provided contact information for defense counsel, I am suggesting that all parties respectfully respect that I am an American with Disabilities, and further discrimination and abuse that cost me my home and health will not be tolerated.

 
Attached is a link to the 2021 California Rules of Court – Rule 3.724 Duty to meet and confer.  For those parties not willing to have a recorded discussion of the items in the Rule, kindly respond in correspondence, with hard copy mailed to me at my PO Box 835 Yucca Valley CA 92286 and a courtesy email copy to me at lindaayres311@gmail.com
 
The clock starts ticking for the 30 days for response as of the date of properly served summons and first amended complaint, all served within the past 7 days.
 
Please let me know if I have been unclear in any of the foregoing, particularly in relation to the duty to meet and confer, production of documents, form interrogatories and service by mail with courtesy electronic copies as a requested disability accommodation. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Linda Ayres
PO Box 835
Yucca Valley CA 92286
text/tel xxx-xxx-xxxx
[I am available for phone conversations that are subject to recording and transcription (available to all parties), in light of disabilities; otherwise, all communications are respectfully requested to be in writing; with hard copy by mail; with electronic courtesy copies.]
 
Distribution: Defense/Defendants
Scott Greene for American Environmental Group
Michael McGuire and Dominique Tomaino – for State Farm General Insurance
Dominic Campodonico – for Crawford Contractor Connection
Kevin McNamara for Desert Restoration, Inc., dba ServPro of Palm Springs
Christopher Higgins for Desert Valley Restoration, Inc., dba Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling of Greater Palm Springs
Pete Torres – In Pro Per for Geo_Earth Environmental Sampling Professionals, Inc. 
Gary Raimi – In Pro Per for Rapid Dry Cleaning and Restoration, Inc.  
Michael Savage – In Pro Per for Michael Savage Construction  
 
Defendant’s legal leadership are provided a courtesy copy; 
Defense firms are currently unknown, pending communication from their legal counsel:
ServPro Industries, Inc. – Knoxville, TN  ( Matt Preston, Chief Legal Officer may be the designated contact; that’s not known yet.
Paul Davis Restoration, Inc. – Tallahassee, FL  (Laura Ferrante, General Counsel may be the designated contact; that’s not known yet.  
There were significant communications with corporate leadership at PDR and ServPro in efforts for intervention and resolution.
 
This is a small email group of some of the parties who were apprised of the issues, repeatedly.  Titles below.
[emails removed for this blog posting]
 
 

*Rule 3.727. Subjects to be considered at the case management conference

In any case management conference or review conducted under this chapter, the parties must address, if applicable, and the court may take appropriate action with respect to, the following:

(1)  Whether there are any related cases;

(2)  Whether all parties named in the complaint or cross-complaint have been served, have appeared, or have been dismissed;

(3)  Whether any additional parties may be added or the pleadings may be amended;

(4)  Whether, if the case is a limited civil case, the economic litigation procedures under Code of Civil Procedure section 90 et seq. will apply to it or the party intends to bring a motion to exempt the case from these procedures;

(5)  Whether any other matters (e.g., the bankruptcy of a party) may affect the court’s jurisdiction or processing of the case;

(6)  Whether the parties have stipulated to, or the case should be referred to, judicial arbitration in courts having a judicial arbitration program or to any other form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process and, if so, the date by which the judicial arbitration or other ADR process must be completed;

(7)  Whether an early settlement conference should be scheduled and, if so, on what date;

(8)  Whether discovery has been completed and, if not, the date by which it will be completed;

(9)  What discovery issues are anticipated;

(10)  Whether the case should be bifurcated or a hearing should be set for a motion to bifurcate under Code of Civil Procedure section 598;

(11)  Whether there are any cross-complaints that are not ready to be set for trial and, if so, whether they should be severed;

(12)  Whether the case is entitled to any statutory preference and, if so, the statute granting the preference;

(13)  Whether a jury trial is demanded, and, if so, the identity of each party requesting a jury trial;

(14)  If the trial date has not been previously set, the date by which the case will be ready for trial and the available trial dates;

(15)  The estimated length of trial;

(16)  The nature of the injuries;

(17)  The amount of damages, including any special or punitive damages;

(18)  Any additional relief sought;

(19)  Whether there are any insurance coverage issues that may affect the resolution of the case; and

(20)  Any other matters that should be considered by the court or addressed in its case management order.

Rule 3.727 adopted effective January 1, 2007.

 
This is a reference list from 2020 of some of the corporate leadership that I reached out to repeatedly over the course,
directly by email and also by blog, to no avail:

CONTRACTOR CONNECTION  
Larry Thomas President of Contractor Connection
Lance Malcolm Vice President of Contractor Connection
Tim Egnman Issue Resolution Department
Don Riley Issue Resolution Department
Danielle M. Lisenbey Global President, TPA Solutions:
Kieran Rigby Global President, Crawford Claims Solutions
Joseph O. Blanco President
Michelle Montgomeryhell CRAWFORD – VP Marketing & Communications
Jack Schafer SVP & Chief Client Officer, Los Adjusting Services, US
   
PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION  
Shawn Clark CIO/Chief Information Officer
Edward Waller CBO/ Chief Brand Officer
Brad Cowen Senior VP of Business Development
Stephanie Rosenstone EA to President & CEO, Rich Wilson
AL Whitaker VP Marketing
Heather Bradley National Account Manager
  Restoration & Remediation Magazine
Rhonda Sanderson Sanderson PR
   
   
SERVPRO Servpro Industries, LLC
Rick Isaacson Chief Executive Officer
Rick Forster President
John Sooker COO, Executive VP
Jeff Fields Chief Information Officer
Matt Preston Chief Legal Officer, VP
Kim Brooks Corporate Communications Coordinator
  Corporate office
   
STATE FARM 55-7536-D61
Michael Tipsord Chairman
Multiple Adjusters & Managers at Phoenix AZ Claims office & Atlanta Processing Center
 
 

Dear All,
 
Please note that the body of yesterday’s email had a typo in my mailing address:
 
My correct mailing address is:   PO BOX 835, YUCCA VALLEY, CA 92286
 
Attached is a link to the 2021 California Rules of Court – Rule 3.724 Duty to meet and confer.  For those parties not willing to have a recorded discussion of the items in the Rule, kindly respond in correspondence, with hard copy mailed to me at my PO Box 835 Yucca Valley CA 92286and a courtesy email copy to me at lindaayres311@gmail.com

There was a typo in the reference in the text, but it was correct in the signature.  Please correct your records;
mail with the wrong zip code will never reach me.
 
My apologies for the faux pax. 
 
Cordially,
 
Linda Ayres
 
Join the discussions on LinkedIn…  or leave a comment….. because… #WeAreTheMediaNow
Here’s hashtag to check out…  #Cahoots 

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