Motion to Compel Further Responses

The purpose of discovery is to take the “game” element out of trial preparation by enabling the parties to obtain evidence necessary to evaluate and resolve their dispute before a trial is necessary.  Weil and Brown, Cal. Prac. Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial (TRG 2018) ¶8:1 citing Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (1961) 55 C.2d. 355, 376.

Serving “[a]ppropriate written interrogatories are one of the means to accomplish the general goals of the discovery process designed to facilitate a fair trial.” (Juarez v. Boy Scouts of America, Inc. (2000) 81 CA4th 377, 389)

“Interrogatories expedite the resolution of lawsuits … [by detecting] sham claims and defenses … [and] may be employed to support a motion for summary judgment or a motion to specify those issues which are without substantial controversy.”  Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978) 84 CA3d 771, 779


Continue Reading Why You Need to Bring that Motion To Compel Further Responses to Interrogatories


I have always been a strong advocate that you should be awarded sanctions if you had to bring a motion to get the relief you were entitled to even if the other side complied prior to the hearing on the motion.  However in the case of Evilsizor v. Sweeney (2014) 230 CA4th 1304, the First District Court of Appeal had an interesting take on the issue.


Continue Reading Should you withdraw your motion if the other side has complied?

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DILEMMA: It is 30 days before trial and you get the final responses to your propounded discovery.  In reviewing responding party’s answers to supplemental interrogatories the verified response says “Responding party states that all answers to Interrogatories, Set No. One, that were previously served in this action remain the same.”  Yet years have passed, records have been obtained, experts have been deposed and you know they’re lying. What do you do?
Continue Reading All Answers Remain the Same

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 GET YOUR COST OF PROOF SANCTIONS HERE!

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 The Discovery Motion with Teeth

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 Request for Admissions-THE MOTIONS

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 Answering Requests for Admissions-Beware of the Traps

Nine months after the Special Interrogatories were propounded, the Discovery Referee, found that the plaintiffs had “deliberately misconstrued the question” as to economic damages and determined that “the objections and each of them to be unreasonable, evasive, lacking in legal merit and without justification”. Clement at 1284 The Referee recommended that the motion to compel further responses be granted and that plaintiffs were to reimburse defendant $4,950.00 for legal fees, $40 for filing the motions to compel and $1,642.50 for defendants portion of the Discovery Referee’s fees for a total sanction of $6,632.50. The trial court agreed with the recommendation.
Continue Reading Garbage Objections = Sanctions

You have been served with the Motion to Compel Further Responses with a Separate Statement of Items in Dispute 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.
Continue Reading GAME ON-The Opposition

Discovery motions are the banes of most attorneys’ existence and they are often relegated to the newbie in the office to prepare. Young associates as well as other attorneys struggle on what needs to be in the papers and exactly how to convince the court that they should win.

With the courts’ having budgetary problems and staff shortages, it is in your best interests to make it real clear to the court (1) what has happened; (2) what you want the court to do; and (3) why you are entitled to the discovery and sanctions in a succinct fashion.
Continue Reading What Should Your Discovery Motions Look Like?