Discovery Requests in Employment Litigation Under the Heightened Scrutiny of Amended Rules 26(b) and 34(b)

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

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

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Conducted on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will guide employment litigators in drafting discovery requests that will likely survive heightened judicial scrutiny under 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) promptly as required by amended Rule 34(b).


The requirements of Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure necessitate that employment litigators raise proportionality arguments in support of their 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 justify any request for discovery 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 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 and 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."

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



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


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • When drafting discovery requests, what considerations should employment counsel consider 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 a "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?


Evans, Sarah
Sarah Brite Evans

Schwartz Semerdjian Cauley & Evans

Ms. Evans has been practicing law in San Diego since 2000, primarily working on employment law matters. She regularly...  |  Read More

Horton, James
James F. Horton

Littler Mendelson

Mr. Horton focuses his practice as a labor and employment trial attorney. James is proficient in FLSA violations and...  |  Read More

Carr, Corwin
Corwin J. Carr

Mayer Brown

Mr. Carr has extensive experience conducting internal investigations and representing companies primarily in labor and...  |  Read More

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