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I already submitted my responses to Form Interrogatories - General. The opposing counsel has sent me a letter stating that such

San Jose, CA |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

letter serves as his "meet and confer" effort. If he ends up filing a motion to compel and it's granted, am I liable for sanctions once the motion to compel is granted or only if I fail to comply with the motion?

Just to be clear, the reason why he is bringing up the "motion to compel" scenario, it's because I objected to a bunch of his interrogatory questions. Thanks.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    Sanctions can be awarded if the judge finds that your objections are not well taken. In other words, you can be sanctioned in the motion to compel hearing and the judge need not find you refused to follow the order made in that hearing. That is why you need to be sure that your objections are legitimate and with a reasonable chance of success.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

  2. Generally speaking, you have to have a meaningful meet and confer with opposing counsel about the objections. The court expects you to work out the discovery dispute before being bothered with a discovery motion. Usually, it is much harder to successfully object to the Judicial Council Form Interrogatories.

    You would be liable to pay monetary sanctions in connection with the motion to compel further responses if your objections lacked merit and/or you failed to meet and confer in good faith, and if the court found your position was "without substantial justification".

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

  3. Objections to form interrogatories had better be well taken, or the judge can impose monetary sanctions on the objecting party. Be sure that you engage the attorney in meet and confer and understand why the attorney thinks your objections are improper. The burden is on the objecting party to convince the court that the objections are valid, so do your research to prepare for the motion, if you don't withdraw your objections and answer the questions. If you can get a consultation with an attorney in your area, such as through Avvo or the county bar association, you should use that, as it will be less money than if the court decides to sanction you.

    Robert Stempler (please see DISCLAIMER below)
    Twitter: @RStempler

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  4. You really should find a litigation attorney who will give you a free 30 or 60 minute to talk to him or her about your responses. If your objections are not in compliance with the discovery act the court could hold you accountable for all attorney fees and costs related to the filing of the motion and attending the court hearing. Ten hours at $300 per hour could be $3000. Unless you are intimately familiar with the discovery act this would be unlikely you are aware of a valid basis to make objections. Please consult with legal counsel.

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