Effective Discovery: Techniques and Strategies That Work

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Effective Discovery: Techniques and Strategies That Work is a comprehensive practical guide to "paper" discovery and related undertakings—discovery conferences, plans, reports, and orders; disclosures; interrogatories; requests for production; physical and mental exams; requests for admission; electronic discovery; motions; and subpoenas. This informative and eminently readable text takes litigators through the stages of discovery, addressing:

  • discover objectives, planning, strategies, ethics, and rules; 
  • when and how to use discovery devices alone and in combination; 
  • how to assess which discovery devices will work best in your circumstances; 
  • how to draft discovery designed to get needed information;
  • how to respond when the other side is evading—or refusing—your discovery;
  • proportionality—assessing when enough is enough, too much, or not nearly enough;
  • what judges want and don’t want—and the Laws of Unintended Consequences and What Goes Around, Comes Around.

The book is a companion to NITA’s best-selling The Effective Deposition. Together, the two volumes provide an in-depth guide to discovery in all its forms.

Featured Authors

Table of contents

CONTENTS

Preface: Testimonial Discovery, Paper Discovery, the Rules, and How to Use this Book

Acknowledgments

A Guide to Selected Pretrial Proceedings—Pleadings, Disclosures, Discovery, and Related Motions—with References to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure


Chapter One: Introduction to Discovery

Chapter Two: Discovery Preliminaries, Frameworks, and Fundamentals

2.1  Discovery Preliminaries
2.2  Local Rules
2.3  Scope of Discovery
2.4  Additional Protections against Discovery Abuse
2.5  Signing and Certifying Discovery Papers
2.6  Service of Discovery Papers
2.7  Filing Discovery Papers
2.8  The Duty to Preserve Discoverable Material
2.9  Duty to Supplement
2.10  Extensions of Time
2.11  Claims of Privilege

Chapter Three: Preparing for Discovery
3.1   Creating a Discovery Plan
3.2   A Checklist of Seventeen Discovery Objectives

Chapter Four: Initial Disclosures
4.1  The Law
4.2  Drafting Initial Disclosures
4.3  Take Initial Disclosures Seriously
4.4  Sample Disclosures

Chapter Five: Interrogatories
5.1  The Law
5.2  Strategies: Strengths and Weaknesses of Interrogatories
5.3  Information Best Sought by Interrogatories
5.4  Drafting Interrogatories
5.5  Responding to Interrogatories

Chapter Six: Requests for Production and Inspection
6.1  The Law
6.2  Strategies: Strengths and Weaknesses of Production Requests
6.3  Information Best Sought by Production Requests
6.4  Drafting Production Requests
6.5  Responding to Production Requests
6.6  "Clawing Back" Documents

Chapter Seven: Physical and Mental Examinations
7.1  What Are Physical and Mental Examinations?
7.2  What Is the Procedure for Obtaining an Order?
7.3  When a Party’s Physical or Mental Condition Is in Controversy
7.4  What Is “Good Cause Shown”?
7.5  Who May Conduct the Physical or Mental Examination?
7.6  What Is the Scope of Permitted Examinations?
7.7  Who May Attend the Examination?
7.8  Information to Be Provided by the Examiner after the Examination

Chapter Eight: Subpoenas
8.1  The Law of Subpoenas
8.2  The Strengths and Weaknesses of Subpoenas
8.3  Responding to Subpoenas

Chapter Nine: Requests for Admissions
9.1  The Law
9.2  Strategies: Strengths and Weaknesses of Requests for Admissions
9.3  Drafting Requests for Admissions
9.4  Responding to Requests for Admissions
9.5  Form of Response
9.6  Objecting to Requests for Admissions
9.7  Moving for a Protective Order Regarding the Requests for Admissions
9.8  Moving for an Extension of Time in which to Respond
9.9  Withdrawing or Amending Responses to Requests for Admissions

Chapter Ten: Discovery of Electronically Stored Information (ESI)
10.1  Introduction
10.2  ESI Discovery Challenges
10.3  Preparing for and Making or Responding to ESI Discovery Requests
10.4  The Local Rules
10.5  Sources that Are Not Reasonably Accessible
10.6  Crafting Discovery
10.7  Form of Production of ESI Discovery
10.8  Conclusion

Chapter Eleven: Compelling Discovery and Responding to Discovery Misconduct
11.1  Rule 37 Motions
11.2  Motion for an Order Compelling Disclosure or Discovery
11.3  Motion for Sanctions for Failure to Comply with a Court Order
11.4  Failure to Disclose, to Supplement an Earlier Response, or to Admit
11.5  Failure to Admit Requests for Admission
11.6  Party’s Failure to Attend Its Own Deposition, Answer Interrogatories, or Respond to a Request for Inspection
11.7  Form: Motion for Discovery Sanctions
11.8  Failure to Provide Electronically Stored Information
11.9  Failure to Participate in Framing a Discovery Plan
11.10  Discovery Misconduct by the Party Seeking Discovery
11.11  Prerequisites to a Motion for a Protective Order

Afterword

Appendix A: Form 52. Report of the Parties' Planning Meeting

Appendix B: Suggested Protocol for Discovery of Electronically Stored Information (The "Maryland Protocols"), District Court for the District of Maryland

Appendix C: Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Pilot Program (The Seventh Circuit Program), U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit

Appendix D: The Sedona Principles (Second Edition 2007): Addressing Electronic Document Production

Appendix E: Selected Federal Rules