Friday, April 13, 2012

Practitioner Discovery Tip: Your Discovery Objection is Meaningless (Shh, Don't Tell the Client).

We all know how it works when you get discovery from an opposing party:  have your secretary pull up some form responses, start loading it up with objection after objection; make sure to object to the definitions and instructions; pretend you have no possible understanding of what is being asked for; parse every word of every request and tease out every available meaning, no matter how absurd, so you can object on vagueness grounds, and basically jerk the other side around, buy some time, and get them to "narrow" the requests so you can go through the whole process all over again.

Oh yeah -- then bill the client 12.2 hours.

Well, apparently Judge Rosenbaum thinks this kind of approach may be problematic:
Objections that state that a discovery request is “vague, overly broad, or unduly burdensome” are, standing alone, meaningless and do not comply with both the Local Rules and Rule 34’s requirement that objections contain a statement of reasons. See Pitts v. Francis, 2008 WL 2229524, *2 (N.D. Fla. May 28, 2008). A party objecting on these grounds must explain the specific and particular way in which a request is vague, overly broad, or unduly burdensome. In addition, claims of undue burden should be supported by a statement (generally an affidavit) with specific information demonstrating how the request is overly burdensome. See Benfatto v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., 2008 WL 4938418, *4 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 19, 2008) (citing Convertino v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 565 F. Supp. 2d 10, 14 (D.D.C. 2008)). Since Morgan has not indicated how Request 4 is overly broad or unduly burdensome and because she has further not provided any evidentiary support for her bald assertion of burdensomeness, the Court overrules Morgan’s objection in this regard and grants the Receiver’s Motion to Compel a complete response to Request 4.
Nice job Judge!

(The Force is strong with this one.)


Anonymous said...

Happy Friday The 13th, SFL!

Anonymous said...

David. Isn't the final line a bit of extreme up-sucking?

The Constant Complainer said...

I think you need to support the objections with an affidavit.

Sometimes the legal wrangling drives me up the wall. I realize there's a process or even a game in certain situations. But it's examples like your post that prove how silly the system can sometimes be.

andrews said...

In my experience, they are not even very original. Pretty much every FC mill has its set of boilerplate objections, designed mostly to waste time in hope that the judge won't impose any sanctions.

Anonymous said...

How could it be up-sucking?

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