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:
In many cases mediation is the most cost-efficient and effective method of resolving a case. Often, litigants can save a lot of money and time when mediation is held after first tier discovery has been completed, once the core facts are determined that circumscribe the dispute. In order to facilitate early resolution many courts have implemented mediation programs and asked mediators to volunteer their time. Unfortunately, many mediators are becoming discouraged with these programs because many times the parties are not prepared.
Speaking to a number of Bay Area mediators who participate in the court ordered mediation panels, they have uniformly identified that the majority of the court ordered mediation cases are breach of contract and personal injury cases.
It was a consensus that, whether the information is obtained through investigation, informal exchange of information or formal discovery, parties need to know the absolute basics of their case so that they can intelligently mediate. Mediation is not the time to expect an opponent to “educate” you of the basic understanding of your case. This may seem to be obvious, but in hearing the stories from the mediators it was surprising on how unprepared many parties are. Continue Reading DISCOVERY PLAN PART 3–Are You Ready for Mediation?
In responding to Requests for Production of documents you have three response choices (1) agree to produce (C.C.P. §2031.220 (pdf)); (2) state that after a diligent search and a reasonable inquiry you have no documents (C.C.P. §2031.230 (pdf)) or (3) object C.C.P. §2031.240 (pdf). Continue Reading The Document from Hell–aka The “Privilege Log”
You are now sitting down to organize your Discovery Plan and determining what discovery you need to evaluate your case, prepare for mediation, file a motion for motion for summary judgment/summary adjudication and/or get it ready for trial. But where do you start? My suggestion is to litigate like an Egyptian and build a pyramid (pdf). Continue Reading Litigate like an Egyptian
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: