Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Rule -- No Dumb Discovery Objections!

Dumb Objections Order

Wouldn't it be great to live in a world where you didn't have to see boilerplate, utterly meaningless discovery objections, devoid of content and existing in some suspended state of phantom word jumble, where you know they're there and yet they are also not there?

Well Magistrate Judge Simonton wants to put a stop to such verbal detritus, and her general discovery order outlines a vision for a better, more substantive discovery world, where people answer interrogatories in good faith and no one interposes "vague" or "overbroad" objections unless there's a really good reason.

Take a gander and you may have a tear in your eye by the time you're finished:
The parties shall not make nonspecific, boilerplate objections....Objections that state that a discovery request is "vague, overly broad, or unduly burdensome" are, standing alone, meaningless, and will be found meritless by this Court.....

If there is an objection based upon an unduly broad scope, such as time frame or geographic location, discovery should be provided as to those matters within the scope which is not disputed.....

An objection that a discovery request is irrelevant and not reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence must include a specific explanation describing why the request lacks relevance and why the information sought will not reasonably lead to admissible evidence.....

The parties shall not recite a formulaic objection followed by an answer to the request. It has become common practice for a Party to object on the basis of any of the above reasons, and then state that "notwithstanding the above," the Party will respond to the discovery request, subject to or without waiving such objection. Such an objection and answer preserves nothing and serves only to waste the time and resources of both the Parties and the Court. Further, such practice leaves the requesting Party uncertain as to whether the question has actually been fully answered or whether only a portion of the question has been answered.
In other words, welcome to Discovery Shangri-La.

(Feels good, doesn't it?)


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Rumpole said...

We don't have that crap on the criminal side in fed ct. It's just 1) think a bad thought 2) get indicted 3) discovery consisting of a few pages mostly redacted and some police reports that are copied in a manner that make them unreadable; 4) A few snitches; 5) a trial; 6) sentencing; 7) appeal; 8) denial of cert; 9) bar complaint by client and pro se post conviction relief motion; 10) cja payment of $2,250.00 and all within 90 days or so of arrest! How easy is that? And who says the government is a giant bureaucracy that doesn't work?

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