People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Dade City's Wild Things, Inc. et al

Middle District of Florida, flmd-8:2016-cv-02899

ORDER granting {{153}} Motion to extend time; {{156}} Motion to Continue; {{157}} Motion to Continue. See order for details. Signed by Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone on 11/15/2017. (BEE)

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PageID 2533 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA TAMPA DIVISION PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS, INC., Plaintiff, v. Case No.: 8:16-cv-2899-T-36AAS DADE CITY'S WILD THINGS, INC., STEARNS ZOOLOGICAL RESCUE & REHAB CENTER, INC. D/B/A DADE CITY'S WILD THINGS, KATHRYN P. STEARNS, AND RANDALL E. STEARNS, Defendants. ______________________________________/ ORDER This matter comes before the Court on William J. Cook and Barker & Cook, P.A's Motion for Extension of Time to Comply with Order and Subpoenas or Stay Pending Review (Doc. 153), Defendants' Unopposed Emergency Motion to Stay Deposition of William Cook, Extend the Time to Comply with Joint Statement, and Continue Hearing on November 29, 2017 (Doc. 156), and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc.'s Motion to Continue Filing of Joint Pre-trial Statement and the Evidentiary Hearing Scheduled for November 29, 2017 (Doc. 157). All the motions essentially seek the same relief. On October 12, 2017, the Court scheduled a November 29, 2017 evidentiary hearing on Plaintiff's motions for the Court to hold Defendants and certain non-parties in contempt. (Doc. 120). In the October 12th Order, the Court also required the parties and non-parties to file, on or before November 17, 2017, a joint statement containing witness lists, exhibit lists, stipulation of facts, stipulation as to legal issues, disputed issues of fact, and disputed issues of law. (Id. at ¶ 2). 1 PageID 2534 On October 26, 2017, Plaintiff moved to compel the production of certain documents and deposition testimony from Defendants' former counsel William Cook, Esq. (Doc. 131). Plaintiff represented that this discovery was necessary to adequately prepare for the November 29th evidentiary hearing. (Id.). On November 2, 2017, Defendants responded by taking the position that the discovery sought from Mr. Cook was protected by attorney-client privilege. (Doc. 141). On November 3, 2017, the Court ordered that Mr. Cook produce documents—limited in timeframe and topics—and appear for deposition to provide testimony related to the same limited timeframe and topics. (Doc. 145). Defendants subsequently filed an objection to the November 3rd Order as permitted by Rule 72(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Doc. 154). Because the Rule 72(a) objection is pending before United States District Judge Charlene Honeywell, the parties and Mr. Cook request a stay of Mr. Cook's November 16th deposition, the November 17th deadline for filing the joint statement, and the November 29th evidentiary hearing. (Docs. 153, 156, 157). Accordingly, after due consideration, it is ORDERED that: (1) William J. Cook and Barker & Cook, P.A's Motion for Extension of Time to Comply with Order and Subpoenas or Stay Pending Review (Doc. 153), Defendants' Unopposed Emergency Motion to Stay Deposition of William Cook, Extend the Time to Comply with Joint Statement, and Continue Hearing on November 29, 2017 (Doc. 156), and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc.'s Motion to Continue Filing of Joint Pre-trial Statement and the Evidentiary Hearing Scheduled for November 29, 2017 (Doc. 157) are GRANTED. (2) The evidentiary hearing and joint statement deadline, as well as Mr. Cook's discovery obligations, are STAYED pending resolution of Defendants' Objection (Doc. 154). Within seven (7) days of the ruling on Defendant's Objection, counsel for the parties shall file a notice advising the Court how soon they can be available for the rescheduled evidentiary hearing, 2 PageID 2535 as well as the estimated length of the hearing. DONE AND ORDERED in Tampa, Florida on this 15th day of November, 2017. 3