This rule applies (i) in adversary proceedings, unless the Bankruptcy Court orders otherwise, and (ii) whenever the Bankruptcy Court makes Part VII of the Bankruptcy Rules applicable in a contested matter, except in categories of proceedings exempt from initial disclosure under Rule 26(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(a) Rule 26(f) Conference and Report.
(1) Within twenty-one days after the later of (i) the appearance of the first defendant by answer or motion (excluding any motion challenging personal jurisdiction or adequacy of service of process, or any motion, or other documents seeking to extend the time to answer or otherwise respond); (ii) the resolution of a motion provided for in the preceding parenthetical; or (iii) the removal of a proceeding to the Bankruptcy Court, all unrepresented parties and counsel for all represented parties must confer as required by, and for the purposes of, Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and discuss scheduling matters as set forth in Rule 16(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(2) All unrepresented parties and counsel for all represented parties are jointly responsible for submitting, within fourteen days after the Rule 26(f) conference, a written report outlining the discovery plan, addressing any scheduling matters of concern to the parties as set forth in Rule 16(b), and proposing a scheduling order in accordance with Rule 16(b) for consideration by the Bankruptcy Court. Form 7016 may be used for the proposed scheduling order.
(3) If one or more parties or their counsel fails or refuses to cooperate in the scheduling of the Rule 26(f) conference and in the preparation and filing of the report as set forth above, the other parties must file appropriate joint or separate reports.
(4) In lieu of submitting the Rule 26(f) report and proposed scheduling order, the parties may submit a written stipulation stating that the parties have agreed to waive initial disclosures otherwise required by Rule 26(a)(1), that no departures from the standard discovery provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and these Rules are required in the proceeding, that discovery begins on the day after the last day for the Rule 26(f) conference specified above, and that the parties agree to a scheduling order in accordance with paragraph (b) of this rule.
The failure of the parties to timely comply with the provisions of this rule will be deemed to be such a stipulation, unless the Bankruptcy Court orders otherwise for cause shown.
(b) Scheduling Order.
(1) Following receipt of the report required by paragraph (a), the Bankruptcy Court will enter an appropriate scheduling order. A conference will be held only if directed by the Bankruptcy Court.
(2) If the parties submit a written stipulation as set forth in paragraph (a)(4) of this rule or fail to timely comply with the provisions of paragraph (a)(4), then, unless the Bankruptcy Court orders otherwise, no separate scheduling order will be entered and:
(A) Discovery will commence on the last day of the time specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this rule;
(B) Motions to join other parties or to amend the pleadings must be filed within thirty days of the beginning of discovery;
(C) Discovery must be completed within ninety days of commencement as set forth in 2 (A) above, unless the Bankruptcy Court orders otherwise in accordance with BLR 7026-2; and
(D) BLR 7026-2(c) applies with regard to expert witnesses.
This schedule will not be modified except upon a showing of good cause and by leave of the Bankruptcy Court.