United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
Rebecca R. Pallmeyer District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
D. Johnston United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court are a motion to modify by defendant Hibbs-Hallmark
& Company and Robert Monaghan and a motion to quash by
plaintiff Experience Based Learning. Dkts. 80, 81. For the
following reasons, the defendants' motion to modify 
is denied, and the plaintiff's motion to quash  is
granted. A telephonic status is set for July 11, 2019 at 9:00
a.m. By July 8, 2019, counsel shall provide direct dial
telephone numbers to the Court's operations specialist,
who will initiate the call.
alleged that former defendant Hanover Insurance Company
breached the parties' insurance contract by failing to
honor a claim for damage to plaintiff's trees caused by a
beetle infestation; alternatively, plaintiff alleged breach
of contract and professional negligence against its insurance
agents, defendants Hibbs-Hallmark & Company and Robert
Monaghan, for failing to obtain insurance coverage that would
have covered the tree damage. Dkts. 44, 45.
April 10, 2018 status hearing, the Court directed the parties
to file a joint proposed case management order. As it does in
every civil case, the Court provided the parties with a
plethora of warnings about the failure to meet deadlines. For
example, in the proposed case management order, which was
signed by defendant's counsel, the parties are warned of
These dates will not be amended absent a showing
of good cause. The parties understand that motions for
extensions of time should be brought as soon as possible, but
at a minimum before the cut-off date, and a party's
failure to do so runs the risk that the motion will be
Dkt. 47 at 3 (emphasis in original). Further, the Court told
the parties to propose reasonable deadlines to allow
themselves enough time to complete all fact discovery.
Additionally, the Court advised that if the parties had
difficulty resolving discovery disputes, they should file a
motion as soon as possible so the Court could keep them on
track to meet the discovery deadlines. After reviewing the
parties' proposed case management order, the Court
adopted the very deadlines the parties had proposed: 26(a)(1)
disclosures to be exchanged by May 18, 2018, amended
pleadings by October 19, 2018, fact discovery completed by
March 14, 2019, and expert and dispositive motion deadlines
reserved. Dkt. 49.
parties later exchanged 26(a)(1) disclosures on May 18, 2018.
As part of its disclosures, plaintiff identified Hannover
claims adjusters Michael Duggan and Jason Marrero as possible
witnesses with discoverable information. Dkt. 85 Ex. A at 2.
Defendants disclosed Michael Duggan, Jason Marrero, and
Hanover insurance underwriter Valarie Garren as witnesses
with possible discoverable information. Id. Ex. B at
2. On November 15, 2018, plaintiff dismissed Hanover from
this suit by stipulation, leaving Hibbs-Hallmark &
Company and Robert Monaghan as the remaining defendants.
Dkts. 60, 61.
January 25, 2019, plaintiff moved for leave to file its Third
Amended Complaint, which dropped all claims against former
defendant Hanover and kept the breach of contract and
professional negligence claims against remaining defendants
Hibbs-Hallmark and Monaghan. Dkt. 71. The Court granted the
motion at a hearing on January 31, 2019. Dkts. 67, 72.
Defendants' counsel also indicated at the hearing that
she wished to depose three witnesses located in California
and that she foresaw no issues with meeting the impending
fact discovery cutoff date of March 14, 2019. Defendants'
counsel made no mention of any desire to depose any witnesses
identified as Hanover employees. The parties deposed
plaintiff's principal Steve Gustafson on February 25,
2019 and completed the three California depositions by March
1, 2019. Dkt. 85 at 4. The March 14 fact discovery deadline
passed with neither party seeking to extend the deadline.
during a telephonic status hearing on March 21, 2019,
defendants indicated for the first time that they wished to
depose two additional out-of-state fact witnesses and now
former employees of Hanover: specifically, a claims adjuster
and an underwriter who worked for Hanover on the insurance
claim at issue in this case. Defendants claimed that these
depositions became necessary after information came to light
during Gustafson's deposition on February 25, 2019, and
that they would need 45 days to complete these depositions.
The Court asked defense counsel why Gustafson was not deposed
until two weeks before the end of fact discovery. Defense
counsel replied that scheduling issues and settlement
negotiations delayed Gustafson's deposition. Plaintiff
objected to the oral request for an extension, and the Court
directed defendants to file a written motion to seek leave to
take the two depositions. Defendants filed the instant motion to
modify on March 28, 2019, seeking 30 days to complete the
depositions. Dkt. 81.
weeks later, plaintiff filed a motion to quash. Dkt. 81.
According to the motion, defendants had served
subpoenas to both Hanover claims adjusters and the
underwriter before plaintiff responded to defendants'
motion to modify the deadline to take those
depositions. Id. at 2. Thus, plaintiff asks
the Court to quash the subpoenas because they seek discovery
after the fact discovery deadline in violation of Local Rule
parties focus their briefs analyzing whether an extension is
warranted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B). However, for the
reasons discussed below, the motion to modify is properly
analyzed under Rule 16(b)(4)'s “good cause”
standard. Because the Court would deny the motion to modify
under either standard, the Court will address both.