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BRIDGES v. IIT RESEARCH INST.

August 8, 1995

JACK E. BRIDGES, Plaintiff,
v.
IIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR.

 CHARLES R. NORGLE, SR., District Judge:

 Before the court is the motion of Plaintiff Jack E. Bridges ("Bridges") for an extension of time, and the motion of Defendant IIT Research Institute ("IIT") for summary judgment. For the following reasons, Bridges's motion for an extension is denied and IIT's motion for summary judgment is granted.

 I. MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME

 On June 26, 1995, the court ordered that Bridges file its response to IIT's motion for summary judgment by July 10, 1995. On July 7, 1995, Bridges filed a motion for extension of time in which to respond. Notwithstanding that Bridges had not fixed a date to present the motion as required by Local Rule 12(E) of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ("Local Rules"), the court granted the motion and gave Bridges until July 24, 1995, to respond to IIT's motion for summary judgment. On July 21, 1995, Bridges filed another motion for extension of time. Once again, Bridges did so without fixing a date for presentment as required by Local Rule 12(E). Local Rule 12(I) provides that if counsel "delivers a motion for which no date of presentment is set and fails to serve notice of a date of presentment within 10 days of delivering the copy of the motion to the court as provided by section E of the Rule, the Court may on its own initiative deny the motion." Local Rule 12(I). It has been more than ten days since the motion was filed, and no presentment date has been fixed. Thus, Bridges has failed to bring the motion for extension of time before the court in the appropriate manner, and the court denies the motion on this basis.

 Furthermore, the only basis for the extension was the busy schedule of Plaintiff's attorneys. In his original motion for extension, Bridges requested that he be given twenty-one extra days. The court granted fourteen. In his second motion for extension, Bridges asked the court for another fourteen days. The court is puzzled by Bridges's second request. If the court was unwilling to grant Bridges a twenty-one day extension on the first motion, there is no reason to infer that the court would be willing to grant two sequential extensions resulting in a total of twenty-eight days. The court has an obligation to keep its docket as current as possible, see Kagan v. Caterpillar Tractor Co., 795 F.2d 601, 608 (7th Cir. 1986), and a busy lawyer's pressing schedule is not a legitimate excuse for failing to adhere to the court's briefing schedule. Therefore, on this additional basis, the court denies Bridges's motion for an extension of time to respond to IIT's motion for summary judgment.

 The court also notes that Bridges did not move for an extension pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(f). That rule provides a party may postpone ruling on a motion for summary judgment by affirmatively demonstrating, by way of affidavit, that the party's opposition to the motion is meritorious and how the postponement will enable the party show that there is a genuine issue of material fact. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(f); United States v. On Leong Chinese Merchants Ass'n Bldg., 918 F.2d 1289, 1295 (7th Cir. 1990). Even had Bridges moved pursuant to Rule 56(f), the court would not grant the extension because the Rule is not to be used as a delay tactic or scheduling aid for busy attorneys. See United States v. All Assets and Equipment of West Side Building Corp., 58 F.3d 1181, 1995 WL 392486 (7th Cir. 1995); United States v. Oldsmobile-Cadillac, Inc., 766 F.2d 1147, 1153 (7th Cir. 1985) ("A party who has been dilatory in discovery may not use Rule 56(f) to gain a continuance where he has made only vague assertions that further discovery would develop genuine issues of material fact."). The affidavit of counsel for Bridges stating that counsel is busy dealing with other matters does not provide a basis upon which to postpone ruling pursuant to Rule 56(f).

 II. MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

 Facts

 The facts are taken from the parties' submissions pursuant to Local Rules 12(M) and 12(N) of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ("Local Rules"). Because Bridges did not file a 12(N) statement, the court accepts as true all properly supported factual assertions in IIT's 12(M) statement. Local Rule 12(N); Rosemary B. v. Board of Educ., 52 F.3d 156 (7th Cir. 1995); Johnson v. Gudmundsson, 35 F.3d 1104, 1108 (7th Cir. 1994); Flaherty v. Gas Research Inst., 31 F.3d 451, 453, 455 n.4 (7th Cir. 1994); Tokio Marine and Fire Ins. Co., v. Amato Motors, Inc., 871 F. Supp. 1010, 1015-16 (N.D. Ill. 1994).

 Bridges complaint alleges that IIT terminated him on the basis of his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. IIT is a not-for-profit research and development organization. Bridges was employed by IIT at its Chicago facility starting in 1961 as a manager in IIT's Applied Sciences Group ("ASG"). He became a Senior Science Advisor in 1975 and held that position until he was terminated on November 30, 1992. Bridges was born on January 6, 1925.

 IIT is composed of scientific groups, each of which engages in research and development in its specific area. Dr. Anthony Valentino ("Valentino") headed up the ASG in 1992. The ASG is divided into five technical departments. In July 1992, the departments were: (1) Transport Technology (Department V); (2) Electromagnetic Compatibility Assurance (Department D); (3) Chemistry and Environmental Sciences (Department C); (4) Electronics and Technology Development (Department E); and (5) Life Sciences (Department L). Bridges was employed in Department E, the Electronics and Technology Department. Department E was further subdivided into four sections: Explosion Science, Electromagnetic and Electronic System Engineering, Engineering Service, and Software Engineering and Systems Analysis.

 Bridges worked only in the Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems Engineering section. He performed three functions: long-range business development, provision of advisory assistance at all levels of a project, drafting project proposals. However, the majority of his efforts were focused on business development.

 In July 1992, in the face of operating losses for several of the departments during the 1992 fiscal year, Valentino determined that it was necessary to reduce expenses. Particularly, Departments E and L were facing funding losses due to the loss or reduction of significant long-term ...


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