After constant complaints from litigants and lawyers on the length, breadth, and costs of discovery, there seems to be a real effort afoot to solve all three of these problems. The upcoming amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which go into effect on December 1, 2015, aim to decrease what have become the most expensive and time-consuming aspects of litigation.
One of the many ways that the amendments will do this is by expressly adopting what many courts have already done–barring the use of generalized boilerplate objections in responding to document requests. The use of such objections often results in a meaningless first round (or several rounds) of discovery before anything productive is actually accomplished. As amended, the Rules aim to preclude the use of these types of objections, resulting in faster progress in discovery and with a little less costly back-and-forth.
As amended, Rule 34 should eliminate the all too common practice of dumping kitchen sink objections into the initial written responses to document requests. For example, under the current Rules, it is not unusual for an attorney to list every conceivable objection to a set of document requests in an introduction, “incorporate by reference” those objections into each specific response, and then repeat the more applicable (though still generalized and boilerplate) objections in the specific responses. The attorney then concludes each response with an entirely unhelpful statement along the lines of, “any non-objectionable, non-privileged documents responsive to this request will be produced at a mutually agreed upon date and time.”
Filed under: foreclosure