Security Guard

 

Over lunch last week, a local attorney was complaining to me about his case that is going to trial in July.  On the last day to serve written discovery, Plaintiff counsel had served each of his five clients, on behalf of each of her three plaintiffs, a separate set of 50 specially prepared interrogatories, 35 requests for documents, 70 requests for admissions and 17.1 of the Form Interrogatories for a total 750 specially prepared interrogatories and 525 requests for documents, 1050 requests for admissions and 4200 responses to Form Interrogatory 17.1 equaling 6525 discovery requests to be responded to 30 days before trial.     Continue Reading YOU NEED TO FILE A MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER!!

iStock_000000215562XSmall.jpgLast week I received the following e-mail from one of my readers:

I have read your articles with interest and respect for some time now; I find them excellent plus.I have a friend who is acting pro per in a civil case. Suffice it to say she can’t afford or get an attorney.

Opposing counsel has made a mockery of discovery by making (putrid) garbage objections to 99% of discovery sent him. He uses every boilerplate objection and has even objected saying some discovery was “unintelligible” when my friend didn’t define a name that was the name of the defendants product…  Opposing counsel is clearly abusing the intent of discovery dragging my friend into “Meet and Confer Hell” while knowing that as a pro per, my friend can not get anything more at this point than her costs of filing a Motion to Compel (which she has won) and photocopy costs. On the other hand, and I speak with authority, opposing counsel has created enough work for himself to literally turn a reasonably moderately sized case into a major matter and I would estimate he has made more than $250,000 in fees from his client (no insurance company involved) in 2011.

My point being: There is clearly a wrong here (major discovery abuse and a lack of any good faith) and no remedy.Am I being naive in thinking something should be done or a remedy created? Continue Reading Am I Naïve to Think Something Should Be Done?

Bully Lawyer

Today I read a great article by Minnesota attorney Randall Ryder titled “New Attorney? Don’t Get Intimidated by Opposing Counsel.”  The article struck a cord with me as it is a proponent of the same philosophy that I am advocating in my own blog—don’t be intimidated by a bully, do not react with words in kind and use the “Rules” to win. Though the article is directed towards new attorneys, this is good advice for every attorney.   Continue Reading Don’t Get Intimidated and Play by the Rules

iStock_000014100087Large.jpgLast spring I had the pleasure of taking a tour of the Royal Globe Theatre in London, England.  On display there was a plaque titled “Quoting Shakespeare.” It began by stating:

If you can’t understand my argument and declare, “it’s Greek to me, you are quoting Shakespeare.  If you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare.  If you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if you lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare.  If you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied-a tower of strength—hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows—made a virtue necessitated, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink—stood on ceremony—danced attendance on your lord and mater—laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift—cold comfort, too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days, or lived in a fools paradise, why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are as good luck would have it, quoting Shakespeare…

Continue Reading Quoting Shakespeare

Southern Belle.jpgAs 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 (pdf) pursuant to C.C.P. §2030.040 (pdf) and  C.C.P. §2033.040 (pdf) stating the reasons why they need more.  See C.C.P. §2030.050 (pdf) and C.C.P. §2033.050 (pdf).   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 “I DECLARE, IT IS NECESSARY”

trash-in-the-gutter-thumb-275x182-12824.jpg

Growing up in an Italian household, our dinners consisted of salad, pasta, wine and an argument. Afterwards we all went out for ice cream with no thoughts of the argument that took place at the dinner table. That is because we thought of arguments as a sport and there was no reason to hold any grudges.  However, when I became a lawyer I was surprised to find that lawyers did hold grudges despite the fact that law by its nature is an adversarial process and we are professional arguers.

The disdain and hated that can spew from even the most professional of lawyers can be astonishing. At times you wonder where it comes from.

Continue Reading Will You Join Me in the Gutter?

e=mc2A.jpg

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 It Is Too Relevant!

Boxing Women.jpgYou have been served with the Motion to Compel Further Responses with a Separate Statement of Items in Dispute (pdf) the size of your fist and your response is due in two weeks.  Now what do you do? First, take a deep breath.  This is the time you decide when to “hold them and when to fold them” because how you respond may end up setting the tone between you and opposing counsel for the entire case.   

Look at the Separate Statement of Items in Dispute (pdf) and determine whether or not you have any garbage objections.  If you do, offer to respond to those interrogatories, requests for admissions and/or requests for productions of documents by a date no later than when your opposition is due.

Continue Reading GAME ON-The Opposition

Sanction Judge.jpg

When I started this blog I asked fellow attorneys what issues they would like me to address.  I received this response from a lawyer in San Francisco: 

Key problem – judges that won’t crack down on parties that lodge bogus objections and don’t answer interrogs, and object to discovery demands that are straight forward. Amount of sanctions awarded is usually pitiful. 

Continue Reading SANCTIONS–DENIED!!!