United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division
IN RE DEEPWATER HORIZON BELO CASES This Document Relates to First Trial Pool Cases Listed in Exhibit A
R. Jones, Magistrate Judge.
CASEY RODGERS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
November 19, 2019, the Court held a telephonic Rule 16
Conference with counsel to discuss matters related to the
first trial pool, which now consists of 21
see Exhibit A. Present for the Plaintiffs were
Alison Divine,  the Nations Law Firm; Allen Lindsay,
Lindsay & Andrews; Gabriel Hawa, The Downs Law Group
P.A.; and Timothy Falcon of the Falcon Law Firm. Present for
the Defendants were Francis McDonald and Sarah Long of
McDonald Toole Wiggins P.A. and Kevin Hodges of Williams
& Connolly LLP. This Order memorializes the matters
discussed and decided on the record and provides additional
dates for compliance applicable to the first trial pool, as
parties verified their compliance with the disclosure and
profile requirements of Judge Barbier's Initial Case
Management Order prior to transfer to this
Court. It was
brought to the Court's attention, however, that due to
the Court's prior stay, the Defendants have not yet taken
action to obtain records through Plaintiffs'
authorizations/releases. The Defendants are hereby directed
to immediately, and in no event later than 14
days from the date of this Order, pursue all
necessary records using the executed releases.
Court intends to further subdivide the first pool of cases so
that they may proceed with an efficient and structured case
specific discovery process. To aid the Court in this process,
including the preparation of a final scheduling order, the
parties are directed to email the following information to
the Court by Thursday, November 21,
(a) Plaintiff profile forms,
(b) Rule 26(a) disclosures,
(c) A list identifying which Plaintiffs, if any, are seeking
lost wages; and
(d) Defendants' identification of fact witnesses commonly
used and already identified in other BELO
Defendants requested that Plaintiffs promptly provide
information identifying the physical samples they intend to
rely on for general causation. The Court agrees and directs
the Plaintiffs to provide Defendants the identity of the
samples within five (5) days of this Order.
Court raised the possibility of employing a litigation
support firm, BrownGreer, PLC, to assist with efficiently
moving this litigation forward as a whole. The parties agreed
to consider the potential benefits of establishing a
litigation platform. By separate order, the Court will
arrange a conference date for the parties to hear more
information regarding BrownGreer's services relative to
Final Scheduling Order will be entered separately.
Court's records show that Ms. Divine has not made an
appearance in any BELO case in this Court, she is not
currently admitted in the Northern District of Florida, she
has not completed the online Attorney Admission Tutorial, and
she has not requested pro hac vice status. Ms.
Divine has thirty (30) days to comply with the Court's
admissions process. The Clerk is directed to mail her a copy
of this Order, addressed to Alison Divine, The Nations Law
Firm, 3131 Briarpark Drive, Suite 208, Houston, Texas 77042.