April 25, 2018 civil procedure

Why Do Lawyers Still Make Boilerplate Objections to Civil Discovery?

By Charles S. Fax

I recently reviewed discovery objections and responses in a straightforward federal action valued in the mid-six figures. The objections were both “general” and “specific.” General objections included the following:

  • “Object to the extent the requests seek to impose obligations on the respondent beyond those imposed by the Rules.”
  • “Object to the extent the requests seek documents protected by the attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine or any other applicable provision.”
  • “Object to the extent the requests seek documents that are not relevant, are not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and/or are not within respondent’s possession, custody or control.”
  • “Object to the extent the requests call for legal conclusions.”

Specific objections included “vague and ambiguous,” “overbroad,” “unduly burdensome,” “terms are undefined,” “calls for a legal conclusion,” “interrogatory is premature because suit has just begun, and investigation is ongoing,” “not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence,” and “requests information already in Plaintiff’s possession.” None of these objections was explained.

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