Resolving Discovery Disputes

Resolving Discovery Disputes

Using discovery to reach evaluation, mediation and trial goals

Category Archives: Request for Admissions

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Posted in Abuse, Depositions, Discovery on Foreign Citizens, Discovery Plans, Interrogatories, Request for Admissions, Request for Production of documents
Several times per month I receive questions from attorneys regarding a discovery dilemma.  Mostly the questions offer a novel twist on basic discovery.  However, this latest query was quirkier than most and raised some interesting issues and misconceptions, so I thought I would share it with you.   It went like this: I served written discovery… Continue Reading

Why You Need to Bring a Motion to Strike General Objections

Posted in Compel Further Responses, Interrogatories, Motions, Objections, Privileges, Request for Admissions, Sanctions
Recently I was contacted to help on a party’s Motion to Compel Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, and Requests for Admissions. In viewing opposing counsel’s responses to the discovery, I gazed upon the General Response and Objections preamble in absolute astonishment.  It read as follows:… Continue Reading

What is a General Objection?

Posted in Compel Further Responses, Interrogatories, Objections, Request for Admissions, Request for Production of documents
ANSWER:     A fictional document. A non-existent objection neither based in statutory authority nor found in case law. A statement by a party during the discovery phase that they will neither be held to the Code of Civil Procedure nor the rules of evidence. In my years as a discovery referee, I have found that… Continue Reading

Discovery Plan Part 4 — The Year Before Trial

Posted in Discovery Plans, Expert Witness, Expert Witness, Interrogatories, Meet and Confer, Motions, Request for Admissions, Request for Production of documents
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… Continue Reading

Save Time, Money and Angst — MEET AND CONFER

Posted in Compel Further Responses, Interrogatories, Meet and Confer, Request for Admissions, Request for Production of documents, Sanctions
The purpose of the "meet and confer" requirements set forth in C.C.P. §§ 2025.450(b)(2), 2025.480(b), 2030.300(b), 2031.310(b) 2032.250(a) 2033.290(b) was for the lawyers to revisit their position, in good faith discuss a resolution and avoid unnecessary discovery motions.… Continue Reading


Posted in Abuse, Discovery Plans, Interrogatories, Meet and Confer, Request for Admissions
As every lawyer is aware, a party may propound more than 35 specially prepared interrogatories or requests for admissions simply by attaching a Declaration of Necessity pursuant to C.C.P. §2030.040 and C.C.P. §2033.040 stating the reasons why they need more. See C.C.P. §2030.050 and C.C.P. §2033.050. However, when you receive more than 35 specially prepared interrogatories or requests for admissions, you should ask yourself the question "IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?"… Continue Reading


Posted in Motions, Request for Admissions, Sanctions
Cost of proof sanctions are designed to compensate for unnecessary expenses resulting from proving matters unreasonably denied. You don't have to win the lawsuit to be awarded these sanctions. Weil and Brown, Cal. Prac. Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial (TRG 2010), ¶8:1405 citing Smith v. Circle P Ranch Co., Inc. (1978) 87 CA3d, 267, 276. They way to win this motion is to set it up from the beginning.… Continue Reading

The Discovery Motion with Teeth

Posted in Motions, Request for Admissions, Sanctions
After a long stretch of depositions, coupled with intense mediation sessions you finally have a day in the office to clean off your desk and catch up on your other cases Going through the stacks of mail, you find the motion with teeth -the Motion to Have Admissions be Deemed Admitted. Panic sets in. Now what do you do? The first thing you do is pick up the phone and call opposing counsel and beg for relief.… Continue Reading

Request for Admissions-THE MOTIONS

Posted in Compel Further Responses, Motions, Motions to Compel, Request for Admissions
There are three motions that you can bring--(1) Motion to Compel, (2) Motion to Compel Further Responses, and (3) Motion to have matters Deemed Admitted. All of them have their place in your discovery plan but two of them --Motion to Compel Further Responses and Motions to Have Matters Deemed Admitted must be in your arsenal. Though they appear to be the same motions you would use for interrogatories, inspection demands, and depositions there are a few noteworthy twists and turns.… Continue Reading

Answering Requests for Admissions-Beware of the Traps

Posted in Request for Admissions, Sanctions
Answering Requests for Admissions is very similar to answering interrogatories-you have an obligation to respond in good faith and you have to be careful about your garbage objections. However, the code makes it clear that the requirements in responding to Requests for Admissions are higher. The Discovery Act does not have such strident language for responding to interrogatories or an inspection demand. This is because Requests for Admissions are not designed to uncover factual information. Rather, their main purpose is to set issues at rest by compelling admission of things that cannot reasonably be controverted. Weil and Brown, Cal. Prac. Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial (TRG 2010), ¶8:1256 citing Shepard & Morgan v. Lee & Daniel, Inc. (1982) 31 C3d 256,261.… Continue Reading

How to Write Requests for Admissions

Posted in Discovery Plans, Request for Admissions
Requests for admissions may be used to (1) establish the truth of specified facts, (2) admit a legal conclusion, (3) determine a party's opinion relating to a fact, (4) settle a matter in controversy, and (5) admit the genuineness of documents. See C.C.P. §2033.010; Weil and Brown, Cal. Prac. Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial (TRG 2010), ¶ 8:1288 - 8:1301.2; CEB California Civil Discovery Practice 4th Edition §§ 9:17 - 9:20. However that is all good and dandy, but how to write a Request for Admission in order to be effective evidence in a motion for summary judgment or at trial is difficult.… Continue Reading

Why Aren’t You Using Requests for Admissions

Posted in Request for Admissions
If you are like most lawyers, you are using the typical discovery devices to gather up all your information--form interrogatories, special interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and of course the deposition schedule from Hell. However, requests for admissions are rarely in a party's discovery plan. I suggest you take a closer look at CCP Section 2033.010 (pdf) et seq. Requests for admissions are wonderful, tricky little discovery devices that really help you set up your case. Let me explain why.… Continue Reading

California Civil Discovery–Charts for the Everyday Litigator

Posted in Depositions, Discovery Plans, Expert Witness, Interrogatories, Motions, Request for Admissions, Request for Production of documents, Sanctions
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… Continue Reading

It Is Too Relevant!

Posted in Abuse, Compel Further Responses, Depositions, Interrogatories, Motions, Motions to Compel, Objections, Request for Admissions, Request for Production of documents, Sanctions
Attorneys easily spew out the objection "the information you are seeking is not relevant to the subject matter of the litigation" as easily as they say "Good morning." If you are the propounding party your reaction is probably to be to yell out "It is too relevant!" because it doesn't even appear that the responding party actually thought it through before spewing out the objection. But what exactly is relevancy? It seems to be a nebulous term that invokes images of catching clouds with your hands or like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's definition of pornography "I know it when I see it"?… Continue Reading

You’ve Blown the Dreaded Draconian 45-Day Rule-Now What Do You Do?

Posted in Interrogatories, Motions, Request for Admissions, Request for Production of documents
Motions to compel further responses to interrogatories, requests for productions of documents and requests for admissions require that the motion be filed within 45 days. CCP §§ 2030.300(c), 2031.310(c) and 2032.290(c) Delaying the filing of the motion waives a party's right to compel further responses. The case of Vidal Sassoon, Inc. v. Superior Court (1983) 147 Cal. App. 3d 681 at 685 (Pre-1986 Discovery Act) takes the position that the court lacks jurisdiction to order further responses after time has expired. The Second District Court of Appeal upheld this rationale in Sexton v. Superior Court (1987) 58 Cal. App. 4th 1403), 1410. So now what do you do?… Continue Reading

Are Your Objections Garbage?

Posted in Compel Further Responses, Interrogatories, Meet and Confer, Objections, Request for Admissions, Request for Production of documents, Sanctions
Not only are most objections garbage, we tend to recycle our garbage objections from one case to the next. Sometimes, we pick up other attorneys' garbage objections and contribute to more litter. This is done over and over again without even thinking what it is doing to the environment of the litigation. Garbage objections fuel the ire of opposing counsel. The "meet and confer" letter that is soon to follow is usually full of hostility and threats. Any amicable relationship you had hoped for with opposing counsel is on the cusp of being destroyed. More important, you are now costing your client more money in attorneys' fees and possibly in settlement. So before you throw out the trash, look at these common objections and why they will be overruled:… Continue Reading