A dispute over the scheduling of a settlement conference ended with a California federal judge ordering a law firm and a pro se plaintiff to explain why they should not be disciplined for missing a deadline set by the court.

U.S. District Judge John F. Walter gave law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP and pro se plaintiff Deon Thomas two days to demonstrate why they should not be sanctioned $2,500 each and why the case should not be dismissed.  In the case, Thomas accuses Union Adjustment Company, Inc. of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by harassing him over a debt he allegedly did not owe.

The settlement conference was originally scheduled for January, but the parties sought and obtained an extension until March 5.  On March 10, the parties filed a memorandum stating that they were unable to schedule the conference because of disagreements over the mediator and the date.  The parties submitted emails to the court showing a back-and-forth over these issues, but Judge Walter was not persuaded.