United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
C. Keesler United States Magistrate Judge.
MATTER IS BEFORE THE COURT on Plaintiff's
“Motion For Disclosure Of Brief” (Document No.
120) filed on November 15, 2017. This motion has been
referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b), and immediate review is appropriate.
Having carefully considered the motion, the record, and
applicable authority, the undersigned will deny the
Motion For Judicial Settlement Conference” (Document
No. 111) was filed on October 16, 2017. Defendants stated
that they believed the parties “will be able to reach a
settlement with the aid of a judicial officer, ” and
that Plaintiff “does not object to this motion.”
(Document No. 111).
October 17, 2017, the Honorable Max O. Cogburn, Jr. granted
Defendants' motion, referring the matter to the
undersigned as judicial settlement officer, and opining that
the undersigned's participation “will not create a
barrier under Local Rule 16.3(D) in the further handling of
this case inasmuch as the pretrial substantive issues have
been resolved.” (Document No. 113).
October 23, 2017, the undersigned issued an Order scheduling
a Judicial Settlement Conference for November 21, 2017. Also
on October 23, 2017, the undersigned issued additional
instructions to counsel for the parties regarding the
Judicial Settlement Conference by a letter sent by United
States mail. See (Document No. 120-1). That letter
included the following pertinent requirements and
Confidential Settlement Briefs: Not longer than 5 pages,
discussing the strengths and weaknesses of your position and
the perceived strengths and weaknesses of your opponent's
position. Please include a statement of what your client
believes would be a fair resolution of the matter. Briefs
should be delivered to chambers only (at the above
address) on or before November 14, 2017.
Format: The Court generally follows the North Carolina
mediation rules . . .
The judicial settlement conference is confidential. Nothing
said, done, or produced during the conference shall
constitute an admission of liability or an agreement adverse
to the participating party's interest. By attending this
conference, the parties agree to such confidentiality as well
as to summary enforcement by an appropriate Order of the
I look forward to working with you at the judicial settlement
conference. While a copy of this letter is being shared with
the presiding district judge, the matters discussed at the
conference will not be shared unless a final resolution is
(Document No. 120-1) (emphasis in original letter).
filed a “Motion For Leave To Amend The Complaint”
(Document No. 115) pursuant to Judge Cogburn's order to
file a motion to amend. See (Document No. 112,
p.15). The motion to amend was originally referred to the
undersigned; however, that referral was removed on November
instant motion, Plaintiff seeks to compel the disclosure of
Defendants' confidential settlement brief submitted
pursuant to the undersigned's directions. (Document No.
120). Plaintiff contends he interpreted
“Confidential” to exempt the parties from
electronic filing pursuant to Local Rule 5.2.1(B), but
believed that the parties' confidential settlement briefs
still had to be served on all parties pursuant to Local Rules
5.2.1(E) and 5.3(C). Id. Plaintiff contends that he
“will suffer prejudice if Defendants are permitted to
argue positions regarding a pending Motion before ...