DoctorPersonal Injury attorney Miles B. Cooper, a partner at Emison Hullverson LLP, wrote a very insightful article in the March, 2014 issue of  Plaintiff Magazine on the joys and pitfalls of deposing treating physicians.

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Something came up for opposing counsel at the last minute and he didn’t show. That left us – the court reporter, videographer, and me – sitting in the conference room with the treating doctor deponent, the one who had been too busy, according to his office (disinterested, I suspected) to meet me face to face. “Doctor, while you’re here,” I began . . .

Continue Reading Treating Physicians–Treat Them Right

Overwhelmed Office Worker

Somewhere in the back of your mind you are aware that discovery and Motions for Summary Judgment deadlines are looming. Yet, you really don’t pay attention to them until they are upon us usually around day 45 when you start trying to schedule experts. That is when you realize there are not enough hours in the day and days in the week. Unless you have a case that is a simple slip and fall or a fender bender, the last 100 days before trial can be daunting. Throw in a Motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication into the mix and you’re swamped. Then there is the ultimate question you ask yourself, “When am I going to find time to prepare for trial.”

The Code of Civil Procedure timeline regarding deadlines for expert disclosure, close of discovery and the last day discovery motions can be heard is demonstrated below.  Seeing it scheduled in black and white is kind of scary. Continue Reading Discovery Plan Part 4 — The Year Before Trial

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When a Judge or Discovery Referee makes a comprise in a a discovery dispute–splitting the baby–I cringe. This goes against the philosophy of the Discovery Act and current case law. There are rules in discovery and attorneys are expected to play by those rules. When one side plays by the rules and asks the court to enforce those rules, it becomes disheartening to that party when the Judge or Discovery Referee splits the baby instead of making the tough call.

Recently, I heard a lawyer bemoan the fact that instead of granting the motion to compel further responses to requests for documents documents which he clearly had won, the judge ordered that the responding party to turn over all its declared experts files prior to the declared expert’s deposition instead.  Apparently the judge was persuaded by the opposition’s position that to provide a further response and gather all the responsive documents would take too much time away from their preparation of the impending trial. This order was wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to begin. Continue Reading A Judge Needs to Call Balls and Strikes on Discovery Motions

Stopwatch 

On Monday, September 17, 2012, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1875 which will limit depositions to one seven (7) hour day.  This law conforms with the federal rules and becomes effective on January 1, 2013.  The enactment of the legislation will add Section 2025.290 to the Code of Civil Procedure which will read as follows:   Continue Reading GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS BILL LIMITING DEPOSITIONS TO SEVEN HOURS:

arguing lawyers.jpgYou are within fifty days of trial and you are in receipt of defendant’s expert witness disclosure.  She has three experts and you have three experts.  All six of them need to be deposed in less than 35 days and you haven’t yet sent out a deposition notice.  You pick up the phone and meet and confer with opposing counsel to select dates.  During the conversation the attorney for the defendant states very adamantly

My expert will not be ready to testify until your expert testifies. Besides you are the plaintiff and you have to go first!  

Heard this before?  I have and there are some significant problems with defense counsel’s position. 

Continue Reading My Experts Go Last!

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Over the years friends and colleagues have called me up asking for a quick answer on a discovery question that they have. The phone call usually went like this “I want to get plaintiff’s phone records, how do I do that?” or “I forgot to disclose experts, am I too late?” or “They want to send my client to a psychiatrist. Can I object?” I know the answers to these questions which are “Yes,” “No” and “Yes.” However, to get the statutory authority, I rely on the charts I have prepared and published over the last 18 years. The California Civil Discovery–Charts for the Everyday Litigator ” (pdf)  was recently updated and now available to you for download. 

Hope it helps!!