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Martinez v. Schlumberger Technology Corp.

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

March 28, 2018

SAUL MARTINEZ, JR., on Behalf of Himself and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
v.
SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         This matter is before the court on the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint [Doc. 23] and Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Exceed Page Limits [Doc. 28]. For the reasons more fully explained below, the Court will grant the motion to exceed page limits in part, and will grant the motion for leave to amend.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Saul Martinez (“Martinez”) is a former employee of Defendant Schlumberger Technology Corporation (“Schlumberger”), an oil field services company.[1] According to the Complaint [Doc. 1], Schlumberger employed Martinez as a Field Engineer Trainee from approximately January of 2014 until October of 2014, during which time he performed non-exempt manual labor. Martinez alleges that Schlumberger required him, and others like him, to work more than 40 hours per week but refused to pay them overtime wages by improperly classifying them as “exempt” employees. He asserts claims against Schlumberger for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 207(a) and the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act (“NMMWA”), N.M. Stat. Ann. § 50-4-22 et seq. Martinez seeks to assert a nationwide collective action for the FLSA claim, and a New Mexico class action for the NMMWA claim.

         Martinez seeks leave to file a first amended complaint that would broaden his collective and class actions. While his original Complaint was brought on behalf of “Field Engineer Trainees” in the “Well Services Segment, ” he wishes to amend his complaint to also include all workers employed as “Field Engineer Trainees” or “Field Specialist Trainees” in either the Well Services Segment or the Wireline Segment. Doc. 23 at 2; see also Plaintiff's proposed First Amended Complaint, Doc. 23-1. Schlumberger opposes the motion to amend on the grounds that “it seeks to expand the alleged classes to include job positions Plaintiff never has held in divisions where Plaintiff has never worked.” Doc. 24 at 1. Schlumberger argues that it would be futile to permit this expansion because Martinez can neither represent the expanded class he proposes nor meet the certification requirements of the FLSA and Rule 23.

         Martinez filed a reply [Doc. 27] in support of his motion for leave to amend that is sixteen pages in length, which exceeds the twelve-page limit imposed by our Local Rules. Attached to this reply are two complete, unhighlighted depositions totaling almost 200 pages- well in excess of the 50 page limit for exhibits imposed by our Local Rules. Martinez did not request permission to exceed these page limits before he filed his reply, but rather filed the reply first and then, one day later, filed his Motion for Leave to Exceed Page Limit. Doc. 28. Schlumberger opposes the motion to extend the page limits. Doc. 29.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Motion to Extend Page Limits

         In filing a reply of sixteen pages, Martinez violated several of our Local Rules. First, he violated Local Rule 7.5, which limits reply briefs to twelve pages. Next, in attaching almost 200 pages of exhibits, Martinez violated Local Rule 10.5, which restricts exhibits to a maximum of 50 pages (unless all parties agree otherwise) and requires parties to file “only those pages of an exhibit which are to be brought to the Court's attention.” In fact, most of the exhibit pages filed by Martinez are irrelevant to his reply. Martinez's filing also violated Local Rule 10.6, which requires parties to clearly mark the portions of the exhibit they wish to bring to the Court's attention. Finally, Martinez waited until after filing its non-compliant reply brief before it sought consent to the page extension from Schlumberger and then filed his motion for extension of the page limit.

         Martinez contends that the four extra pages of briefing in his reply are necessary to fully address the issues raised in Schlumberger's response brief. Martinez also requests an opportunity to refile his reply exhibits so that they comply with Local Rules 10.5 and 10.6. Schlumberger opposes the four-page extension on the reply brief on two grounds. First, it contends that the extension is unreasonable in light of the fact that Schlumberger's response brief was only seven pages in length and raises no novel issues. Second, Schlumberger opposes the request as untimely because Martinez filed it after he filed his overlong reply brief. Finally, Schlumberger argues that the page extension should be denied because the reply brief addresses issues, such as standing, that are not raised in the response brief.[2]

         The Court will grant the motion to extend page limits in part. The Court will accept Martinez's overlong reply brief on this occasion only. Having given this one chance, the Court will not overlook any further violations of the Local Rules by Plaintiff. However, the motion to extend the page limit for the exhibits is denied, there being no valid reason for the Court to consider those depositions in their entirety. The Court will consider only those pages specifically cited in the reply brief; the remainder of the pages are hereby stricken.

         II. Motion for Leave to Amend

         A. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) provides that, after a responsive pleading has been served, “a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave.” The Rule specifies that “[t]he court should freely give leave when justice so requires.” The purpose of the Rule is to provide litigants “the maximum opportunity for each claim to be decided on its merits rather than on procedural niceties.” Hardin v. Manitowoc- Forsythe Corp., 691 F.2d 449, 456 (10th Cir. 1982). “Refusing leave to amend is generally only justified upon a showing of undue delay, undue prejudice to the opposing party, bad faith or dilatory motive, failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, or futility of amendment.” Frank v. U.S. West, Inc., 3 F.3d 1357, 1365 (10th Cir. 1993).

         B. ...


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