UPDATED January 4, 2023
Effective January 1, 2023, Caifornia Code of Civil Procedure § 2016 which authorized authorized the court to conduct an informal discovery conference upon request of a party or on the court’s own motion was REPEALED.
As a Discovery Referee, I found the process helpful and incorporated it into many of my discovery orders. I encourage parties to continue using informal discovery conferences as they are productive. Agree to stipulate to extending the time to bring a motion to compel further responses in order to meet and confer in good faith. Consider bringing in a discovery referee for the limited purposed of aiding you in the process.
I have found not found any information that the statute will be reenacted which read:
(a) If an informal resolution is not reached by the parties, as described in Section 2016.040, the court may conduct an informal discovery conference upon request by a party or on the court’s own motion for the purpose of discussing discovery matters in dispute between the parties.
(b) If a party requests an informal discovery conference, the party shall file a declaration described in Section 2016.040 with the court. Any party may file a response to a declaration filed pursuant to this subdivision. If a court is in session and does not grant, deny, or schedule the party’s request within 10 calendar days after the initial request, the request shall be deemed denied.
(1) If a court grants or orders an informal discovery conference, the court may schedule and hold the conference no later than 30 calendar days after the court granted the request or issued its order, and before the discovery cutoff date.
(2) If an informal discovery conference is granted or ordered, the court may toll the deadline for filing a discovery motion or make any other appropriate discovery order.
(d) If an informal discovery conference is not held within 30 calendar days from the date the court granted the request, the request for an informal discovery conference shall be deemed denied, and any tolling period previously ordered by the court shall continue to apply to that action.
(e) The outcome of an informal discovery conference does not bar a party from filing a discovery motion or prejudice the disposition of a discovery motion.
(f) This section does not prevent the parties from stipulating to the timing of discovery proceedings as described in Section 2024.060.
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends that date. [Emphasis added]