In an order yesterday, Judge Sullivan refused an to extend the time for the SEC to oppose motions in limine in a six-year-old case. The SEC sought the extension because the parties reached a settlement awaiting formal Commission approval, but Judge Sullivan found that those grounds were not enough, particularly because the request itself was untimely:
On October 6, 2016, the Court ordered the parties to file motions in limine by February 10, 2017, with responses due by March 10, 2017 and replies due by March 24, 2017. On March 10, 2017 — the day on which responses to motions in limine were due — the SEC and Defendant . . . advised the Court that they had reached an agreement in principle and requested that the schedule for motions in limine be stayed pending the SEC’s approval of the settlement, which was expected to take “about six weeks.” The Court denied the request, noting that while the parties may choose not to respond to motions in limine if they are confident that the agreement in principle will be approved by the SEC, the original scheduling order remained intact.
The Court is now in receipt of another request from the SEC, this time requesting permission to file its opposition to Defendant[‘s] motions in limine out of time, on the grounds that the SEC’s formal approval of the settlement, which it now expects to be done by March 24, 2017, will “render the pending motions in limine moot.” The request, which was submitted five days after the due date of the responsive filings, is itself untimely and in violation of the Court’s individual practices. Moreover, the fact that the parties have reached a potential settlement more than six years after the commencement of this action does not justify the scuttling of the pretrial order that was issued many months ago.