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Why does the Rule 16 Scheduling Order establish a dispositive motion deadline before the end of the period allowed for discovery?

Litigants before the Court are entitled to careful consideration of the issues by the Court.

In order to give non-movants a reasonable time to respond and movants time to reply, final submission is approximately a month after the dispositive motion is filed. The Court must have sufficient time to fully and properly consider issues raised on a motion for summary judgment. The deadlines established in the Court's scheduling order insure achievement of these purposes.

The judges try to resolve summary judgment motions in advance of pretrial hearings. Neither moving the summary judgment deadline to the cutoff of discovery nor cutting off discovery at the earlier summary judgment deadline would be appropriate. Any attorney viewing a case as one appropriate for summary judgment should schedule discovery to allow the deadline to be met. Setting the dispositive motion deadline prior to the end of discovery also recognizes the realities of litigation. Often factual issues which should be developed for trial are not necessary for resolution of summary judgment issues.

If summary judgment is denied, a discovery cut-off after the time for filing dispositive motions allows discovery to proceed without the necessity of a motion to reopen discovery. The court encourages lawyers to conduct discovery in a manner consistent with "just, speedy and inexpensive" procedures. See Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1.