Governor Newsom signed a number of bills this year that amended the Code of Civil Procedure. Those bills include:
S.B. 370 – Discovery: Response to Inspection Demands: S.B. 370 amends section 2031.280(a) of the Code of Civil Procedure. Parties responding to an inspection demand will no longer have the option of producing the documents “as they are kept in the usual course of business.” Instead, when produced, the documents “shall be identified with the specific request number to which the documents respond.” S.B. 370 was co-sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys of California and California Defense Counsel.
S.B. 17 – Discovery: Sanctions and Initial Disclosures: S.B. 17 adds sections 2016.090 and 2023.050 to the Code of Civil Procedure. Section 2023.050 authorizes the imposition of $250 in sanctions, in addition to any other sanctions imposed, for the failure to respond to a request for production of documents, for producing documents within 7days of a hearing on a motion to compel, and for failure to communicate in a reasonable and good faith attempt to resolve a dispute over the production of documents. The court may require the lawyer to report the sanctions to the State Bar. Section 2016.090 requires, upon order of the court following stipulation by all parties to the action, initial disclosure (without a discovery request) of specified information. This new section is based on rule 26(a)(1)(A) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
A.B. 1349 – Discovery: Interrogatories and RFAs: With regard to interrogatories, A.B. 1349 adds a new subdivision (d) to section 2030.210 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Among other changes, subdivision (d) authorizes the responding party to ask the propounding party to provide interrogatories in electronic format (with 3 days to respond), if they were created in electronic format. If the responding party asks for the interrogatories in electronic format, the responding party shall include the text of the interrogatory immediately preceding the response. With regard to requests for admissions, A.B. 1349 amends section 2033.210 to add a new subdivision (e), which is substantially similar to subdivision (d) of section 2031.210.