The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT
Plaintiffs Margaret Bond and Donald Eiselman commenced this case in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on April 13, 2005, as a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act and as a class action under Rule 1701 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendant National City Bank of Pennsylvania removed the case to the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on May 17, 2006, and filed its Answer on May 24, 2005.
At the initial case management conference on July 8, 2005, the parties agreed to the appointment of a Special Master and to submit the case to the Special Master, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 53(a)(2) and 53(b)(3). Pursuant to stipulation of the parties, this Court appointed Donald E. Ziegler, Esquire (former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania) as Special Master. Stipulation of Parties to Submit Case to Special Master, July 8, 2005 (Doc. no. 8 ).
Said Stipulation assigned certain "duties" and "authority" to the Special Master including in paragraph 3 as follows:
A. Special Master Ziegler shall schedule and conduct case management conferences and/or status conferences that he deems necessary and appropriate for effective and efficient pre-trial management of this case.
B. Special Master Zielger shall direct the filing of papers, take evidence, hold argument, make findings of fact and/or issue reports and recommendations concerning all pre-trial matters in the above-reference case including, but not limited to, matters involving the following:
i. Deadlines for the completion of all pre-trial proceedings;
ii. All discovery matters including, without limitation, appropriate scope, timing, duration, limitations of discovery and whether confidentiality agreements are appropriate; the adequacy of discovery responses; and/or the issuance of protective orders and orders compelling discovery;
iii. All matters related to the class action and/or collective action allegations contained in the pleadings including, without limitation, whether and when discovery relating to class action and/or collective action certification should take place; whether a class action and/or collective action should be conditionally certified; whether potential class action participants and collective action opt-in plaintiffs should be sent notice and, if so, the timing and procedure for individuals to opt into the collective action or opt out of the class action; and whether any conditionally certified class action and/or collective action should be decertified;
iv. Amendment of pleadings and addition/joinder of parties;
v. All issues relating to expert witnesses including, without limitation, the deadline by which experts must be identified; discovery relating to same; and determinations regarding the legal sufficiency and/or admissibility of the expert reports and/or opinions;
vi. All issues relating to dispositive motions including, without limitation, the deadlines for filing same or responding thereto, and disposition of same; and
vii. All other matters agreed to by later stipulation and/or ...