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General question about chronology of Discovery following/preceding Case Management Conference?

San Jose, CA |

CMC is scheduled in early June. Should I be actively preparing and/or delivering *any* Discovery components (Deposition requests; interrogatories; Requests for Admission) to Defendant *prior* to CMC? If Discovery happens only *after* the CMC, which goes first - Interrogatories, RFAs, POD; does order matter?

I have already started in on the design of interrogatories that refer back to my allegations. As I understand it, I am permitted 35 Interrogatories (with possibility of expanding that by Court permission). As my Defendant (a financial institution: this is a foreclosure fraud case) is being sued for three causes of action, do I get 35 interrogatories per Cause of Action, or am I limited to 35 interrogatories, in toto?

As regards Requests for Admission, is there an upper limit to RFAs?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I am assuming your case is filed in unlimited jurisdiction court. If not, please say so because different rules apply concerning the amount of written discovery you can serve. With this in mind....

You do not have to wait for the first case management conference to be complete prior to serving discovery. It is up to you as to how soon you should begin sending written discovery but I would begin sooner rather than later. As for the order of the written discovery...there is no order. You can serve the interrogatories, RFA's and POD's in whatever order you want. Most of the time, I send them out concurrently (although that might not make sense for your's entirely up to you though).

While the Discovery Act limits the number of RFA's and SR's you can send, you do not have to get a court order to send out additional ones. You simply need to provide a declaration of necessity that complies with CCP sections 2030.040(a) and 2030.050 and explains why additional interrogatories are necessary. The declaration must show one of the following grounds: 1) the complexity or quantity of the existing issues justify the additional discovery; 2) the financial burden to obtain the information via deposition is too much for you to afford; and 3) that it will be more expedient to let the other side conduct an inquiry, investigate or search its files to answer your question. That being said, I don't recommend you continue to proceed without an attorney. The rules of civil procedure the rules of court are very complex and you will end up at a significant disadvantage if you go up against the defendant in this case without counsel. I wish you luck!



Yes, this is an unlimited case. And, many thanks for your detailed answer. I have been studying Culhane's Model Interrogatories and have learned much from that volume. Also, I've been obsessive about reading Civil Court Procedure. You and the other attorneys are correct about the disadvantage and burden of attempting to compete with experienced Counsel. That said, we have beaten back three Demurrers, and with the help of Avvo attorneys have an opportunity to force the bank to answer questions that refer back to our causes of action.

William Nicholas Blasser

William Nicholas Blasser


Glad to hear it. Take care and best of luck to you.


The order of discovery is completely up to you. In addition, there would be no reason to wait until the CMC to commence discovery. You do not get 35 interrogatories per cause of action. It is per lawsuit. The same is true with admissions. However, assuming this case is in unlimited jurisdiction, declarations regarding the need for additional discovery would increase what you can propound. Hope that helps.

THIS RESPONSE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. IT HAS BEEN PROVIDED FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Mann is licensed to practice in the State of California. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this educational exchange. Moreover, the facts provided by you were not sufficient to allow Mr. Mann to advise you specifically regarding what you should or should not do. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Mann is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter, or to take any action whatsoever.


You do not have to wait until CMC to commence discovery. The ordering of discovery is up to you. Many parties begin with form interrogatories. Others propound form interrogatories, special interrogatories and request for production of documents concurrently. You are limited to 35 special interrogatories and 35 requests for admission per lawsuit not per cause of action. You may propound more than 35 if justified by the complexity of the case and you serve a declaration attesting as to the need fof additional discovery. The other party can contest your claim of the need for additional discovery. You can propound more than 35 requests for production of documents as a matter of right.

This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.