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.
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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:
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You 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.
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