Discovery Requests in Employment Litigation After Amended Rules 26(b) and 34(b): Propounding or Answering Requests

Drafting or Responding to Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents or Admission of Facts, and Third-Party Subpoenas

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Recorded event now available


This CLE webinar will provide guidance to employment litigators for drafting discovery requests that are likely to survive heightened judicial scrutiny following the Dec. 2015 amendments to Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The panel will also discuss strategies for objecting to discovery requests that are overly burdensome in a specific manner and producing documents and electronically stored information (ESI) in a timely manner as required by amended Rule 34(b).

Description

In the wake of the 2015 amendments to Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, employment litigators are increasingly raising proportionality arguments in support of their own discovery requests and as a basis for objecting to opposing counsel’s discovery requests. Courts have emphasized that parties must reign in broad discovery requests.

Litigators must now justify any request for discovery that goes beyond the direct circumstances that led to the employment law claim and damages sought. Interrogatories, requests for production of documents, requests for admissions, and third-party subpoenas for information in personnel files that are intended to demonstrate similar conduct or prior complaints may be narrowed or quashed if the burden or expense of producing the information outweighs its likely benefit.

Knowing how to draft discovery requests that are likely to withstand burden and proportionality challenges as well as how to craft objections to broad discovery requests is critical for employment litigators. This includes understanding how to object to Rule 34 requests with specificity and how to respond to early requests for production within a “reasonable time,” which the 2015 amendments also require.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses how courts are interpreting and applying the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and best practices for employment litigators for drafting and responding to discovery requests.

Outline

  1. Brief overview of 2015 amendments and their requirements
  2. Considerations for drafting discovery requests
  3. Strategies for responding/objecting to discovery requests

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • When drafting discovery requests, what considerations should employment counsel take into account to ensure that the requests are in line with the new proportionality standard?
  • When responding to early requests for production, how specific must employment litigators be in their objections? What constitutes “reasonable time” for producing information?
  • What guidance does case law provide on determining the circumstances in which the burden or expense of obtaining discovery outweighs the likely benefit?

Faculty

Patricia E. Antezana, Counsel
Reed Smith, Pittsburgh

Ms. Antezana focuses her practice on general litigation, including commercial matters, business torts and product liability defense, with a specialty in managing e-discovery issues. She has been involved with all phases of litigation, including management of large-scale discovery, dispositive motions, trial preparation and alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Antezana has coordinated electronic and hard copy record collection and managed large-scale review projects in numerous complex litigation matters.

Michael H. Bornhorst, Counsel
Mayer Brown, Chicago

Mr. Bornhorst is a member of the firm’s Consumer Litigation and Class Action Defense Group and the Electronic Discovery and Records Management Group. His primary focus is on the pretrial stage of litigation, devoting an extensive portion of his practice to briefing dispositive motions that eliminate claims before trial and other significant pretrial filings. In addition to his consumer class defense practice, Mr. Bornhorst represents businesses and individuals in complex commercial disputes involving software licensing and franchise agreements.

Niloy Ray, eDiscovery Counsel
Littler Mendelson, Minneapolis

Mr. Ray specializes in litigating critical e-discovery issues and challenges. He routinely advises clients on efficiently meeting preservation and “meet and confer” obligations, developing strategies for effective data harvesting, review and production, implementing cost-shifting/cost-reduction techniques, and addressing the admissibility and authentication of electronic evidence. Mr. Ray regularly handles hearings and motion practice on matters relating to e-discovery.


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Schulte Roth & Zabel

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Holland & Hart

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Greenberg Traurig

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