to produce or respond, among others. It was very obvious they do not want to comply with the discovery rules. At the same time they suggested that more meet and confer be scheduled until I am satisfied with their responses. Is there a limit to the number of meet and confer? If defendants meet and confer in bad faith, can I refuse their request for more meet and confer and simply file a motion to compel further responses?
This is actually fairly typical. There is no limit to the number of meet and confer sessions. If the defendants appear to be stalling and/or stone-walling you, you can go ahead and file your motion to compel further responses. However, if the defendants appear they are willing to provide further responses to some but maybe not all of the discovery requests in question, then you are better off not filing a motion to compel further responses so quickly.
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 Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
Remember, you are the Plaintiff; you have the burden of proving your case. Push and push until you get what you need to prove your case at trial. The defense will do whatever they can sometimes to hide the important information/evidence. Don't let them play games with you. You only need to give one good faith effort to meet and confer to resolve the issues. If they are acting in bad faith, be sure to document it in a letter and attach that letter to your motion to compel responses or further responses. Be sure to seek sanctions if you feel they are not acting with substantial justification. While judges tend to hate discovery wars, I feel you show the court and the other side you are serious and will not be bullied by taking a stand to bad faith discovery tactics. Likewise, if you don't, then when you get to trial and don't have what you need because you did not TIMELY bring your motion to compel further responses, the court and other side will say "Well if you wanted the stuff that bad you could have brought a motion to compel". Try to get what you need by meeting and conferring. It might be reasonable to have to make more than one effort, but the moment you feel they are acting in bad faith, warn them about your intent to move to compel and seek sanctions, and then DO IT. And don't take your motions off until the court has ruled on the motions even if they provide the proper VERIFIED responses prior to the motion hearing date. You still have a right to have your argument for sanctions heard and you should. Again, send the message right away that you will not be taken advantage of. It will pay off in the long run.
Best of luck!
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Employment / Labor Attorney
Yes, you can file the motion to compel further responses as to unresolved discovery items if further meet and confer efforts are not looking productive. Be sure to point out in your moving papers , separate statement, and declaration all the efforts made on your part to limit the scope of some of this discovery or resolve issues prior to filing the motion, and the refusal of your opponent to cooperate, leaving you no choice but to file the motion. With the budget crisis and cutbacks facing the courts these days, judges do not want to see bickering over minutia - so focus on the most relevant information or documents, although without attorney representation, this may be a difficult task for you to sort out. Good luck!
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