(a) Purposes of a Pretrial Conference. In any action, the court may order the attorneys and any unrepresented parties to appear for one or more pretrial conferences for such purposes as:
(1) expediting disposition of the action;
(2) establishing early and continuing control so that the case will not be protracted because of lack of management;
(3) discouraging wasteful pretrial activities;
(4) improving the quality of the trial through more thorough preparation; and
(5) facilitating settlement.
(1) Scheduling Order. Except in categories of actions exempted by local rule, the district judge—or a magistrate judge when authorized by local rule—must issue a scheduling order:
(A) after receiving the parties’ report under Rule 26(f); or
(B) after consulting with the parties’ attorneys and any unrepresented parties at a scheduling conference or by telephone, mail, or other means.
(2) Time to Issue. The judge must issue the scheduling order as soon as practicable, but in any event within the earlier of 120 days after any defendant has been served with the complaint or 90 days after any defendant has appeared.
(3) Contents of the Order.
(A) Required Contents. The scheduling order must limit the time to join other parties, amend the pleadings, complete discovery, and file motions.
(B) Permitted Contents. The scheduling order may:
(i) modify the timing of disclosures under Rules 26(a) and 26(e)(1);
(ii) modify the extent of discovery;
(iii) provide for disclosure or discovery of electronically stored information;
(iv) include any agreements the parties reach for asserting claims of privilege or of protection as trial-preparation material after information is produced
(v) set dates for pretrial conferences and for trial; and
(vi) include other appropriate matters.