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Document Request Responses Under FRCP 34: Novel Approaches to Discovery Challenges; Impact of Timing and Resources

Impermissible Boilerplate, Vague Objections, Outdated Templates, Relevancy, Proportionality, and Discovery on Discovery

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024 (in 3 days)

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will explore the challenges in responding to document requests--particularly broad requests--under FRCP 26 and 34 and propose solutions to several perennial discovery problems, including overbroad requests, privilege, and novel ways to restrict responses. The panel will also raise questions on the impact of timing and resources in light of continued remote working.


The Federal Rules require the parties responding to document requests to provide specific objections and state whether responsive documents are being withheld. Nevertheless, many attorneys continue to use boilerplate and vague responses and objections.

Historically, one of the most significant problems has been respondents objecting broadly to requests for production yet producing only some documents. This left the requesting party guessing whether relevant and responsive information was withheld under the objections. The 2015 amendments to Rule 34 sought to end this uncertainty, but issues still arise. Conversely, there are times when production timing can be ambiguous or difficult to predict.

Objections that do not comply with the amendments may be deemed waived. Some judges have reasoned that boilerplate objections are legally meaningless or overruled otherwise legitimate objections for lack of specificity.

Listen as the panel dives deep into what the FRCP requires and novel ways to provide responses and objections that comply with the rules but retain sufficient flexibility to address the fluidity of discovery.



  1. Refresher on FRCP 26 and 34
  2. Caselaw update
    1. How are practitioners and the courts responding to these changes?
  3. Legislative responses. See, e.g., California Code of Civil Procedure Section 2031.280(a)
  4. Challenges when drafting and responding to requests for production
    1. Requests that lack "reasonable particularity"
    2. Objecting to requests for production
      1. Avoiding boilerplate objections and objecting with "specificity"
      2. Identifying what is being produced vs. what is being withheld
      3. Determining a time for production
    3. Privilege considerations
  5. Practical tips


The panel will review these and other essential matters:

  • Legislative responses, including California Code of Civil Procedure Section 2031.280(a)
  • Drafting requests with "reasonable particularity"
  • How to draft an objection "with specificity" and avoid boilerplate objections
  • Identifying what is being produced vs. what is being withheld
  • Determining a time for production
  • Identifying a privilege log format


Heckman, Curtis
Curtis D. Heckman

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Mr. Heckman assists and serves as project manager for case teams and clients with all phases of discovery, including...  |  Read More

Tison, Erin
Erin C. Tison

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Ms. Tison has experience with all aspects of litigation, from filing the complaint up to serving as first chair at...  |  Read More

Attend on June 18

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You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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