Bellator-Alvarez case will not go to trial until late 2014 at earliest
June 26, 2013
The “Joint Proposed Discovery Plan” filed with the Court in the Eddie Alvarez-Bellator case reveals the sobering reality of the judicial system. Among the dates set by the Court, a pretrial conference will occur sometime after September 15, 2014 which would mean an actual trial in the case would not occur until late fall 2014 or even early 2015.
The Court held an initial status conference this week which included the rendering of a “Joint Proposed Discovery Plan” which essentially lays out the plan on litigating the case. This includes the written discovery and a plan on how many people will be deposed by each party (each side will have a maximum of 10 depositions). It also includes a time for expert reports and expert depositions.
A pretrial conference may take place “any time after September 15, 2014 and after resolution of any dispositive motions (motions to dismiss claims)” according to the Order.
At that pretrial conference, the Court will likely appoint a Court date. Thus, it’s most likely a trial would not commence until late 2014 or even 2015.
Another interesting note that has come out of the case is that the parties have agreed to a Discovery Confidentiality Order which may prevent the public from seeing documents deemed confidential by the parties.
Another interesting point was the status of the settlement talks which occurred prior to the filing of the discovery plan. Bellator had offered Alvarez two PPV level fights with the first being a shot at the lightweight title currently held by Michael Chandler. Alvarez declined the offer and countered with just one fight for Bellator. This stalled the negotiations.
And this is why Alvarez should not have stated that he was not going to settle with Bellator. A trial date at best would not happen until the fall of 2014 (Alvarez will be out of action for 2 full years if this happens) but this does not even include any scheduling delays or motions to continue a trial date which are norms in litigation. The parties have already noted that there may be scheduling issues with third parties (UFC?) and “disputes regarding designation of documents as confidential.” Thus, there are already logistical obstacles and it’s still June 2013. We shall see how this progresses and if the parties will look to settlement discussions. But, in my opinion, the parties will want to conduct some discovery and depositions before any further discussions on settling occur.