From the Courts’ and Legislature’s perspective, the purpose of discovery is to exchange information between the parties so each side can evaluate their strengths and weaknesses of their case, so that they are able to resolve the case or, if settlement is not possible, to safeguard against surprise at trial to avoid unnecessary delays and appeals.  From the parties’ perspective, the purpose is to obtain as much as you need from your opponent about their case.  Most critical to this process is taking the depositions of opposing parties’ experts. However, in order to have the right to take those depositions, you must strictly follow the rules for expert witnesses outlined in Code of Civil Procedure section 2034.010 et seq., starting with the demand for simultaneous exchange of expert trial witness information pursuant to CCP § 2034.210 titled “Demand for simultaneous exchange of expert trial witness information; List; Expert witness declaration; Discoverable reports and writings”, which reads:

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The greatest discovery abuses come from responses to Requests for Production of Documents.  Many responses contain a myriad of garbage objections, fail to contain a privilege log, along with producing documents that are not organized by category. Due to the responding party’s failure to comply with Codes of Civil Procedure § 2031.220, §2031.230, §2031.2400 and §2031.280, a motion to compel further responses and production of documents is the most common motion on the court’s docket. It is also the most time-consuming motion to not only prepare, but for the court to rule on.

On January 1, 2020, Code of Civil Procedure §2023.050 became effective which imposes mandatory sanctions for motions regarding Requests for Production of Documents. This new statute requires the court to impose mandatory sanctions on motions involving requests for production of documents.  This sets up a party’s ability to bring issue, evidence and terminating sanctions as there will be an adjudication of prior discovery abuse.

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