What Does It Mean to “Meet and Confer” on a Discovery Dispute? | CEBblog™
(a) Motion for an Order Compelling Disclosure or Discovery. certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the person or of existing provisions of Rule 37(a) authorizing motions to compel answers to .. programmed, and implemented to meet the party's technical and business needs. The meet-and-confer requirements vary depending on the court, but, generally speaking, they all seek to discourage motions to compel. (b) A motion under subdivision (a) shall be accompanied by a meet and confer makes or opposes a motion to compel a further response to interrogatories.
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.
What Does It Mean to “Meet and Confer” on a Discovery Dispute?
Response to meet and confer letter for protective order for requests for admission. Response to meet and confer letter for protective order for requests for production of documents. Meet and confer letter for protective order for deposition. Meet and confer letter for motion to quash subpoena duces tecum. Meet and confer letter for motion to compel attendance at deposition.
Meet and confer letter for motion to compel testimony at deposition. If a party fails to provide information or identify a witness as required by Rule 26 a or ethe party is not allowed to use that information or witness to supply evidence on a motion, at a hearing, or at a trial, unless the failure was substantially justified or is harmless.
In addition to or instead of this sanction, the court, on motion and after giving an opportunity to be heard: A may order payment of the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure; B may inform the jury of the party's failure; and C may impose other appropriate sanctions, including any of the orders listed in Rule 37 b 2 A i — vi.
If a party fails to admit what is requested under Rule 36 and if the requesting party later proves a document to be genuine or the matter true, the requesting party may move that the party who failed to admit pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred in making that proof.
The court must so order unless: A the request was held objectionable under Rule 36 a ; B the admission sought was of no substantial importance; C the party failing to admit had a reasonable ground to believe that it might prevail on the matter; or D there was other good reason for the failure to admit. A Motion; Grounds for Sanctions.
The court where the action is pending may, on motion, order sanctions if: A motion for sanctions for failing to answer or respond must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the party failing to act in an effort to obtain the answer or response without court action.
A failure described in Rule 37 d 1 A is not excused on the ground that the discovery sought was objectionable, unless the party failing to act has a pending motion for a protective order under Rule 26 c. Sanctions may include any of the orders listed in Rule 37 b 2 A i — vi.
Instead of or in addition to these sanctions, the court must require the party failing to act, the attorney advising that party, or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure, unless the failure was substantially justified or other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
Meet and Confer | Resolving Discovery Disputes
If electronically stored information that should have been preserved in the anticipation or conduct of litigation is lost because a party failed to take reasonable steps to preserve it, and it cannot be restored or replaced through additional discovery, the court: A presume that the lost information was unfavorable to the party; B instruct the jury that it may or must presume the information was unfavorable to the party; or C dismiss the action or enter a default judgment.
If a party or its attorney fails to participate in good faith in developing and submitting a proposed discovery plan as required by Rule 26 fthe court may, after giving an opportunity to be heard, require that party or attorney to pay to any other party the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the failure.
Notes As amended Dec. July 1, ; Apr. Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules— The provisions of this rule authorizing orders establishing facts or excluding evidence or striking pleadings, or authorizing judgments of dismissal or default, for refusal to answer questions or permit inspection or otherwise make discovery, are in accord with Hammond Packing Co. Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules— Amendment The amendment substitutes the present statutory reference. Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules— Amendment Rule 37 provides generally for sanctions against parties or persons unjustifiably resisting discovery.
Experience has brought to light a number of defects in the language of the rule as well as instances in which it is not serving the purposes for which it was designed. In addition, changes being made in other discovery rules requiring conforming amendments to Rule Rule 37 sometimes refers to a "failure" to afford discovery and at other times to a "refusal" to do so. Taking note of this dual terminology, courts have imported into "refusal" a requirement of "willfulness.
In Societe Internationale v. Nevertheless, after the decision in Societe, the court in Hinson v.
Michigan Mutual Liability Co. Substitution of "failure" for "refusal" throughout Rule 37 should eliminate this confusion and bring the rule into harmony with the Societe Internationale decision.
See Rosenberg, supra, 58 Col. Rule 37 a provides relief to a party seeking discovery against one who, with or without stated objections, fails to afford the discovery sought. It has always fully served this function in relation to depositions, but the amendments being made to Rules 33 and 34 give Rule 37 a added scope and importance.
Under existing Rule 33, a party objecting to interrogatories must make a motion for court hearing on his objections. The changes now made in Rules 33 and 37 a make it clear that the interrogating party must move to compel answers, and the motion is provided for in Rule 37 a. Existing Rule 34, since it requires a court order prior to production of documents or things or permission to enter on land, has no relation to Rule 37 a.
Amendments of Rules 34 and 37 a create a procedure similar to that provided for Rule This is a new provision making clear to which court a party may apply for an order compelling discovery. Existing Rule 37 a refers only to the court in which the deposition is being taken; nevertheless, it has been held that the court where the action is pending has "inherent power" to compel a party deponent to answer. In relation to Rule 33 interrogatories and Rule 34 requests for inspection, the court where the action is pending is the appropriate enforcing tribunal.
The new provision eliminates the need to resort to inherent power by spelling out the respective roles of the court where the action is pending and the court where the deposition is taken. In some instances, two courts are available to a party seeking to compel answers from a party deponent.
The party seeking discovery may choose the court to which he will apply, but the court has power to remit the party to the other court as a more appropriate forum. This subdivision contains the substance of existing provisions of Rule 37 a authorizing motions to compel answers to questions put at depositions and to interrogatories.
New provisions authorize motions for orders compelling designation under Rules 30 b 6 and 31 a and compelling inspection in accordance with a request made under Rule If the court denies a motion, in whole or part, it may accompany the denial with issuance of a protective order.
Compare the converse provision in Rule 26 c. This new provision makes clear that an evasive or incomplete answer is to be considered, for purposes of subdivision aa failure to answer. The courts have consistently held that they have the power to compel adequate answers. This power is recognized and incorporated into the rule.
This subdivision amends the provisions for award of expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, to the prevailing party or person when a motion is made for an order compelling discovery.
At present, an award of expenses is made only if the losing party or person is found to have acted without substantial justification. The change requires that expenses be awarded unless the conduct of the losing party or person is found to have been substantially justified. The test of "substantial justification" remains, but the change in language is intended to encourage judges to be more alert to abuses occurring in the discovery process.
On many occasions, to be sure, the dispute over discovery between the parties is genuine, though ultimately resolved one way or the other by the court. In such cases, the losing party is substantially justified in carrying the matter to court. But the rules should deter the abuse implicit in carrying or forcing a discovery dispute to court when no genuine dispute exists.
And the potential or actual imposition of expenses is virtually the sole formal sanction in the rules to deter a party from pressing to a court hearing frivolous requests for or objections to discovery.
The present provision of Rule 37 a that the court shall require payment if it finds that the defeated party acted without "substantial justification" may appear adequate, but in fact it has been little used. Only a handful of reported cases include an award of expenses, and the Columbia Survey found that in only one instance out of about 50 motions decided under Rule 37 a did the court award expenses.
Motion to compel, or motion to compel further?
It appears that the courts do not utilize the most important available sanction to deter abusive resort to the judiciary. The proposed change provides in effect that expenses should ordinarily be awarded unless a court finds that the losing party acted justifiably in carrying his point to court.
At the same time, a necessary flexibility is maintained, since the court retains the power to find that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust—as where the prevailing party also acted unjustifiably.
The amendment does not significantly narrow the discretion of the court, but rather presses the court to address itself to abusive practices. The present provision that expenses may be imposed upon either the party or his attorney or both is unchanged. But it is not contemplated that expenses will be imposed upon the attorney merely because the party is indigent. This subdivision deals with sanctions for failure to comply with a court order.
The present captions for subsections 1 and 2 entitled, "Contempt" and "Other Consequences," respectively, are confusing. One of the consequences listed in 2 is the arrest of the party, representing the exercise of the contempt power.
The contents of the subsections show that the first authorizes the sanction of contempt and no other by the court in which the deposition is taken, whereas the second subsection authorizes a variety of sanctions, including contempt, which may be imposed by the court in which the action is pending.
The captions of the subsections are changed to deflect their contents. The scope of Rule 37 b 2 is broadened by extending it to include any order "to provide or permit discovery," including orders issued under Rules 37 a and Rule 37 b 2 should provide comprehensively for enforcement of all these orders.
On the other hand, the reference to Rule 34 is deleted to conform to the changed procedure in that rule. A new subsection E provides that sanctions which have been available against a party for failure to comply with an order under Rule 35 a to submit to examination will now be available against him for his failure to comply with a Rule 35 a order to produce a third person for examination, unless he shows that he is unable to produce the person.
In this context, "unable" means in effect "unable in good faith.
Subdivision b 2 is amplified to provide for payment of reasonable expenses caused by the failure to obey the order. Although Rules 37 b 2 and 37 d have been silent as to award of expenses, courts have nevertheless ordered them on occasion.Mediating Discovery Disputes: When "Meet and Confer" Alone is Not Enough
Arctic Fur Cap Corp. The provision places the burden on the disobedient party to avoid expenses by showing that his failure is justified or that special circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
Allocating the burden in this way conforms to the changed provisions as to expenses in Rule 37 aand is particularly appropriate when a court order is disobeyed. An added reference to directors of a party is similar to a change made in subdivision d and is explained in the note to that subdivision. The added reference to persons designated by a party under Rules 30 b 6 or 31 a to testify on behalf of the party carries out the new procedure in those rules for taking a deposition of a corporation or other organization.
Rule 37 c provides a sanction for the enforcement of Rule 36 dealing with requests for admission. Rule 36 provides the mechanism whereby a party may obtain from another party in appropriate instances either 1 and admission, or 2 a sworn and specific denial, or 3 a sworn statement "setting forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully admit or deny.
Instead, Rule 37 c is intended to provide posttrial relief in the form of a requirement that the party improperly refusing the admission pay the expenses of the other side in making the necessary proof at trial.
Rule 37 cas now written, addresses itself in terms only to the sworn denial and is silent with respect to the statement of reasons for an inability to admit or deny. There is no apparent basis for this distinction, since the sanction provided in Rule 37 c should deter all unjustified failures to admit. This omission in the rule has caused confused and diverse treatment in the courts.
One court has held that if a party gives inadequate reasons, he should be treated before trial as having denied the request, so that Rule 37 c may apply. Another has held that the party should be treated as having admitted the request. Still another has ordered a new response, without indicating what the outcome should be if the new response were inadequate.
Rule 37. Failure to Make Disclosures or to Cooperate in Discovery; Sanctions
United States Plywood Corp. The amendment eliminates this defect in Rule 37 c by bringing within its scope all failures to admit. Additional provisions in Rule 37 c protect a party from having to pay expenses if the request for admission was held objectionable under Rule 36 a or if the party failing to admit had reasonable ground to believe that he might prevail on the matter.
The latter provision emphasizes that the true test under Rule 37 c is not whether a party prevailed at trial but whether he acted reasonably in believing that he might prevail.
The scope of subdivision d is broadened to include responses to requests for inspection under Rule 34, thereby conforming to the new procedures of Rule Two related changes are made in subdivision d: Although Rule 37 d in terms provides for only three sanctions, all rather severe, the courts have interpreted it as permitting softer sanctions than those which it sets forth.
The rule is changed to provide the greater flexibility as to sanctions which the cases show is needed. The resulting flexibility as to sanctions eliminates any need to retain the requirement that the failure to appear or respond be "willful.
Many courts have imposed sanctions without referring to willfulness. Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, sections The court shall award d sanctions to the prevailing party unless it finds that the one subject to sanctions acted with substantial justification or other circumstances that would make imposition of sanctions unjust.
There is no meet and confer requirement for filing a motion to compel discovery responses. Motion to compel further discovery responses Where responses have been provided to propounded discovery requests, but those responses are deemed insufficient, the following law provides a basis for a motion to compel further responses: If Plaintiff files the forgoing motion, b it must be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section Notice of said motion c must be served within 45 days of the service of the verified response five extra days if mailed pursuant to C.
The court shall d award sanctions to the prevailing party, unless it finds that the one subject to sanctions acted with substantial justification or other circumstances that would make imposition of sanctions unjust.