Given that a party in pro per cannot be awarded attorney’s fees as a discovery sanction, is the threat of a motion to compel following a meet and confer really any deterrent for discovery abuses by the opposing party? I am plaintiff in an unlimited civil case and in their first production of documents the defendants have produced very little, using circular responses and delaying production of nearly all requested documents. For the most part, this is because they actually don’t have any documents to back up their contentions (which I know for a fact and their non-production confirms), and in part possibly because they think their attorney can play legal games for them, and perhaps underestimate me. It’s yet to be seen how they respond once I start to pressure them to produce certain documents they are withholding. However, procedurally, is the threat of discovery sanctions effective even though those sanctions might not be much because I’m a pro per? On the other hand, they’ll have to pay their attorneys more to try to defend against a motion to compel and/or sanctions, and defendants aren’t that rich, so that in itself may be enough financial pressure. I can’t afford an attorney, but if I find one willing to substitute in and seek the sanctions for me, plus attorney fees, would that be a practical option to deter the discovery abuses?