First Classics, Inc. v. Jack Lake Prods., Inc., No. 17 C 1996, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 1, 2017) (Cole, Mag. J.).

Judge Cole granted plaintiff’s motion to cancel the parties’ agreed settlement conference, but denied plaintiff’s motion for monetary sanctions without prejudice to refile its motion with more detail.

Because defendant refused to attend the settlement conference, although he originally agreed to it, the Court would not require the parties to attend. So, the Court cancelled the conference. The Court, however, was clear that defendant wasted the Court’s and plaintiff’s time and resources.

Despite defendant’s decision to unilaterally cancel the conference without a valid reason, the Court could not award sanctions for two reasons:

  1. Citing the Court’s own article, the Court reasoned that the Seventh Circuit did not allow magistrate judges to award monetary sanctions. So, absent case citations to the contrary, which plaintiff did not provide, the Court could not award monetary sanctions against defendant; and
  2. Plaintiff’s motion failed to lay out its specific monetary harm related to defendant canceling the settlement conference.