If an amended pleading is filed, the responding party shall meet and confer again penalty of perjury that a good faith attempt to meet and confer was made and. According to FRCP Rule 26(f), both sides are required to Meet and Confer in order the judge found that the defendants failed to Meet and Confer in good faith. California Code of Civil Procedure § requires that parties meet and confer in a reasonable and good faith attempt at an informal.
If the moving party fails to submit a meet and confer declaration in support of their motion or opposition the judge has the discretion to order them to pay sanctions. And a party that has received a meet and confer letter should send a response detailing their facts and arguments as to why they disagree with the facts and arguments of the meet and confer letter and also showing that they are willing to work with the opposing party to resolve the issues informally to avoid the need for judicial intervention.
This is important as it shows that the party opposing the motion has also made a reasonable and good faith effort to meet and confer. The sample collection of meet and confer letters for discovery in California discussed below is 42 pages and includes the following letters as well as response letters. Meet and confer letter for further discovery responses to interrogatories, requests for admission and requests for production of documents.
Response to meet and confer letter for motion to compel further responses to interrogatories. Response to meet and confer letter for motion to compel further responses to requests for production of documents.
Meet and confer letter for protective order for interrogatories.
- 2007 California Code of Civil Procedure Chapter 7. Sanctions
- Obregon v. Superior Court (Cimm's, Inc.) (1998)
- What Does It Mean to “Meet and Confer” on a Discovery Dispute?
Meet and confer letter for protective order for requests for admission. Meet and confer letter for protective order for requests for production of documents. Response to meet and confer letter for for protective order for interrogatories.
Response to meet and confer letter for protective order for requests for admission. Exchange Cal. State of California 8 Cal. The trial judge's application of discretion in discovery matters is presumed correct, and the complaining party must show how and why the court's action constitutes an abuse of discretion in light of the particular circumstances involved.
Upon receiving the expectable objections, plaintiff simply sent a single brief letter, late in the relevant time period. Superior Court 61 Cal. Plaintiff's motion to compel, so far as the record on this petition reflects, makes no effort to explain why interrogatories of such breadth are proper in this case, an omission that reasonably suggests lack of a proper discovery objective. The time available before the motion filing deadline, and the extent to which the responding party was complicit in the lapse of available time, can also be relevant.
What Does It Mean to “Meet and Confer” on a Discovery Dispute? | CEBblog™
An evaluation of whether, from the perspective of a reasonable person in the position of the discovering party, additional effort appeared likely to bear fruit, should also be considered. Although some effort is required in all instances see, e. These are considerations entrusted to the trial court's discretion and judgment, with due regard for all relevant circumstances. In the instant case, whether reviewed according to the substantial evidence or the abuse of discretion standard, or an amalgam of the two, the trial judge's decision that a greater effort at informal resolution should have been made is amply supported by this record.
The petition for a writ of mandate is therefore denied to this extent. Upon finding a failure to attempt informal resolution, a trial judge must consider the appropriate remedy.
Cimm's relies heavily on Townsend v. Superior Court, supra, 61 Cal. Townsend concerned a motion to compel further answers to deposition questions. At the deposition, counsel argued over objections, but no additional effort at informal resolution was made after the deposition adjourned.
The trial court found the deposition discussions to be an adequate effort at informal resolution, and granted the motion to compel. The Court of Appeal, however, ruled that the informal resolution requirement "is not fulfilled when the proponent, immediately following an objection, merely debates with the deponent's counsel the propriety of the objection.
The Townsend court relied on the "collective experience of lawyers and judges that too often the ego and emotions of counsel and client are involved at depositions.
Finding that the heated discussions during the deposition did not constitute a "serious effort at negotiation and informal resolution" id. Without discussion of whether other options were available, the Townsend court then ordered that the motion to compel be denied. Townsend might create the impression that the required consequence of an inadequate effort at informal resolution is complete denial of the requested discovery, but it does not compel that conclusion.
But not every finding that additional informal resolution efforts are required can be categorized as a failure so egregious as to justify summary denial of discovery. Such categorical rulings should be reserved for cases of clear intent to burden or harass, cases of clear flaunting of statutory responsibilities, cases of established track records of lack of good faith, and the like.
The range of a judge's discretion is broad, and litigants cannot always predict exactly where on that broad range a particular judge might alight in a particular case. The party who attempts informal resolution, but mispredicts the judge's location on the reasonable spectrum of possible levels of effort, should not inevitably be penalized by outright denial of possibly critical discovery.
Thus reasonable and good faith efforts at informal resolution of discovery disputes are no doubt a key part of the discovery system. It is also a central precept of the discovery system, however, that "[i]n order to accomplish the various legislative purposes [of the discovery law], the several statutes must be construed liberally in favor of disclosure Superior Court, supra, 56 Cal.
Superior Court 16 Cal. Thus discovery statutes have generally been construed to uphold the right to discovery wherever reasonable and possible. Reconciling these principles while recognizing both the broad range of a trial judge's discretion and the proper judicial goal of minimizing unnecessary expense requires attention to the question of remedy when an effort at informal resolution is found wanting.
Thus discovery should not be automatically denied in such circumstances; instead the trial court should consider whether it would be more appropriate to specify additional efforts which will be [67 Cal. Superior Court, supra, 53 Cal. In the instant case we do not know what ultimate resolution would have resulted from application of such considerations, for the trial judge denied the motion simply on the basis that plaintiff's lone letter was an insufficient effort at informal resolution.
Meet and confer letters for discovery in California
Hence we will grant plaintiff's writ petition to the extent of directing the trial court to consider the proper remedy for plaintiff's insufficient efforts, and to rule accordingly. The court did not err in requiring notice to plaintiff's former supervisor in the manner specified in Code of Civil Procedure section Disposition Let a writ of mandate issue directing respondent to vacate that portion of its March 4,order denying petitioner's motions to compel further response to form and special interrogatories.
Respondent is directed to set for hearing the issue of whether outright denial of the discovery requested by petitioner, or some lesser sanction, would be most appropriate. Real party to bear the costs of this petition. The discovery procedures discussed in this opinion were carried out by counsel; references to plaintiff and Cimm's with respect to discovery procedures are references to the actions of counsel.
This "Separate Statement" is not part of the record presented on this writ proceeding. Plaintiff's declaration also showed that on the related matter of scheduling a deposition, another of Cimm's counsel did send a letter by fax the day before Cimm's mailed letter concerning the interrogatories. The interrogatory letter was dated on a Friday, and arrived on a Monday, the day before the motion filing deadline.
Plaintiff moved in separate motions to compel further responses to the form and to the special interrogatories, but the declaration filed with each motion was identical except for a difference in the amount of attorney's fees requested. Cimm's declaration also advises of another letter, sent by Cimm's to plaintiff in roughly the same time period, concerning the document production dispute covered in the unpublished portion of this opinion.
A copy of the document production letter was also attached as an exhibit. That letter bears the notation that it had been sent by both fax and mail.
Thus of the three letters from Cimm's to plaintiff in this record, two had been sent by fax or both mail and fax, while one-Cimm's response to plaintiff's letter concerning Cimm's interrogatory responses-was sent by mail only and dated the Friday before the motion filing deadline on Tuesday. Although we deal here with a discovery request by a plaintiff, discovery requests can be similarly misused by defendants.
Cimm's opposition contended, correctly so far as the records available in this court show, that "conspicuously absent from plaintiff's motion to compel is any explanation as to why most of the information sought is relevant or calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant information. The court in the instant case, however, ruled not on the merits but rather on the basis of the "informal resolution" requirement. The merits of the discovery requests were never reached.
Meet and confer letters for discovery in California - Legaldocspro Blog
Townsend did note that the presence of counsel at deposition allows for "instantaneous discussion of an objection and attempts at informal resolution. This proposition has a certain facial appeal and the support of at least one commentator. Whether the moving party in Townsend relied on, or even knew of, this authority for the proposition that no further effort at informal resolution was necessary is not stated in the opinion, but the scenario raises the specter that the moving party was denied discovery notwithstanding a possibly reasonable belief that nothing further was required.
If summary denial of further discovery were the inevitable consequence, counsel would have no choice but routinely to engage in expensive overkill-measures designed not to facilitate resolution of the discovery dispute, but instead to mollify the judge, unnecessarily driving up the cost of litigation and consequently damaging the public interest. We do not suggest excessive imposition of such additional requirements. They should be imposed only where the informal resolution efforts in evidence are truly inadequate.
We are aware that in the current "fast track," statistic-driven environment, it sometimes seems that courts impose procedural requirements on litigants not to forward the case toward resolution on the merits, but instead to drive up the cost of obtaining a resolution on the merits to unfeasible levels, thus forcing resolution on a basis other than the merits.
Although it is widely accepted that fast track reforms were needed because of the "justice delayed is justice denied" effect of long time lags to trial, the objective of the court system remains the achievement of justice.