FRESH PERSPECTIVES: TIPS FOR AVOIDING DISCOVERY DISPUTES
By Janine Braxton
Janine Braxton is an attorney at Martenson Hasbrouck & Simon, who represents employers in state and federal courts with an emphasis on complex wage and hour representative PAGA and class actions. Ms. Braxton also focuses on litigating individual discrimination and harassment claims, and is a liaison to the California Lawyers Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section’s Executive Committee. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facts are the most important aspect of any case. Without them, parties do not know the merit of alleged claims or the value of their case. Likewise, the discovery process is equally important. It is the river through which litigation flows. Information and facts discovered via discovery pave the way for case strategy and trajectory. Discovery requires focused attention, resources and depending on the caseâa significant amount of time. Employment discovery, in particular, often concerns events spanning several years of employment involving various employees, and is rarely limited to a single event or encounter. Immersing yourself in the discovery process is a great way to identify facts, develop specialized expertise in your area of practice, and gain familiarity with the respective California and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. As a result, law firms, governmental agencies, and legal departments often look to one of their most valuable resourcesâassociatesâto facilitate discovery efforts, including propounding and responding to requests and related issues.
When efforts to meet and confer fail, discovery law and motion practice ensue. In many circumstances, the prevailing party is entitled to fees and/or sanctions. While discovery disputes are never pleasant and sometimes unavoidable, they are a normal part of litigation. Below are a few tips to help navigate discovery disputes and ensure you are well positioned to defend discovery motions you are unable to avoid.