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MEET AND CONFER LETTER FOR FURTHER DISCOVERY RESPONSES

Date:

Any Party
Any Street
Any Town, CA 99999

RE: John Doe v. John Poe

Dear ____:

I have reviewed your clients responses to the discovery requests that this office served
upon you, on behalf of your client, ______________________.

After a careful review of the responses I have found the following deficiencies.

1. The objections to special interrogatories numbers __ and __ do not state in detail


how the particular interrogatory is compound, conjunctive or disjunctive, or how they
contain a subpart. This type of boilerplate objection is not code compliant.

Also the objections to special interrogatories numbers __ and __ also on the grounds of
not being full and complete in and of itself, subparts, and a compound, conjunctive or
disjunctive question does not state in detail how the particular interrogatory is compound,
conjunctive or disjunctive, or how they contain a subpart. This type of boilerplate
objection is not code compliant. And the objection that the term release agreement
pleaded as an affirmative defense is vague and ambiguous, does not specify how it is
vague and ambiguous. Further, the objection that it calls for a legal conclusion has no
merit.

The responses to special interrogatories numbers _____________________ as not


applicable are too general and definitely not code compliant as they are incomplete.

This renders the objections not in compliance with the code. Code of Civil
Procedure 2030.300 states in pertinent part that, (a) On receipt of a response to
interrogatories, the propounding party may move for an order compelling a further
response if the propounding party deems that any of the following apply: (1) An answer
to a particular interrogatory is evasive or incomplete. (2) An exercise of the option to
produce documents under Section 2030.230 is unwarranted or the required specification
of those documents is inadequate. (3) An objection to an interrogatory is without merit or
too general. (emphasis added).

2. Your reliance on Clement v. Alegre (2009) 177 Cal.App 4th 1277 is interesting in
that Clement v. Alegre, supra also states at 1291 that, Even the treatise upon
which plaintiffs rely urges a practical approach to questions of interpretation. In referring
to the prohibition of "compound, conjunctive, or disjunctive" questions ( 2030.060,
subd. (f)), Weil & Brown point out that the "purpose again is to prevent questions worded
so as to require more information than could be obtained by 35 separate questions. []
How strictly this rule will be applied remains to be seen. Arguably, any question
containing an `and' or `or' is compound and conjunctive!" (Weil & Brown, Cal. Practice
Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial, supra, 8:978.1, p. 8F 21.) They comment that
"[t]he rule should probably apply only where more than a single subject is covered by the
question. Questions regarding the same subject should be allowed although they include
an `and' or `or.' For example: `State your first name, middle name and last name, and your
current address and telephone number.' Since only one subject is involved identification
of responding party the question should not be objectionable because of the `ands' used."
( Id. at 8:979, p. 8F 21.)

Since the interrogatories that your client objected to involve only one subject you cannot
be assured that the objections will be upheld if any motion to compel is filed. I am
surprised that you would have objected as you did after reading the case that you cited in
your objections. Code of Civil Procedure 2030.240 (a) states that, If only a part of an
interrogatory is objectionable, the remainder of the interrogatory shall be answered.

One of your boilerplate objections is to state that the discovery requested is overbroad
and oppressive. To the extent that you truly believe that the discovery is burdensome and
harassing, your recourse would have been to meet and confer before responding and to
file a motion for protective order pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure 2019.030 and
2030.090. The Discovery Act provides that one of the main purposes of a protective
order is to prevent a party from harassing another party with burdensome and
unnecessary discovery. See e.g., Weil & Brown, California Practice Guide: Civil
Procedure Before Trial, 8:1007 et. seq. (Rutter Group, 2008).

Moreover, a discovery burden is only undue if the inconvenience and expense of


responding clearly outweigh the benefits likely to be obtained if the interrogatories are
answered. Id.; Code of Civil Procedure 2019.030(a), (b).

False or evasive answers or the posting of objections without a proper basis is grounds
for discovery sanctions. Code of Civil Procedure 2023.010(f).

Moreover, objections must be specific; a motion to compel lies where objections are too
general. Code of Civil Procedure 2030.300; Korea Data Systems Ltd. Co. v. Superior
Court, 1997) 51 Cal.App.4th 1513, 1516 (holding that objecting party was subject to
sanctions for boilerplate objections).

Courts are loathe to sustain an objection on the ground that the discovery is burdensome
and harassing because it is considered a weak objection. It is not enough that the
question or questions are burdensome; the objecting party must also demonstrate that the
questions are so unjust that they amount to oppression. West Pico Furniture Co. v.
Superior Court, (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 419.
It must appear that the amount of work required to answer the questions is so great, and
the utility of the information sought so minimal, that it would defeat the ends of justice to
require answers. Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Superior Court, (1968) 263
CalApp.2d 12, 19.

Furthermore, for a responding party to sustain an objection on the ground that the
discovery is duplicative is essentially an asked and answer objection, which is also
improper in responding to written discovery. See, Coy v. Superior Court, (1962) 58
Cal.2d 210, 218.

You have also posted objections to some of the special interrogatories based on vague
and ambiguous, which is unfounded given the fact that objections to discovery based
upon vague, ambiguous and unintelligible were categorically overruled more than 50
years ago by the California Supreme Court. See, Cembrook vs. Superior Court, (1961)
56 Cal.2d 423, 428-430 (The objections filed by Sterling in summary, are that the
requests are irrelevant to the subject matter of the action, are ambiguous, call for the
conclusions and interpretations of the litigant...The claims of ambiguity, calling for
opinion and conclusion, and those other objections summarized above, have been
discussed in the other decisions filed this day. There were there found to be untenable.).

In West Pico vs. Sup. Ct. (1961) 56 Cal.2d 407, 421, the Court held that: [T]here is no
question of relevancy, and raises none. Its objections are that the question assumes a fact
not in evidence, and that it is compound in form. The interrogatory makes no such
assumption, and it is not compound. But even if both objections were meritorious, that
would not be grounds for objection to an interrogatory propounded under the provisions
of section 2030 of the Code of Civil Procedure. As was pointed out in the Greyhound
case, objections such as here raised to the form of the question are for the protection of a
witness on oral examination. When, as here, the answer is to be made in writing, after
due time for deliberation and consultation with counsel, an answer may be framed which
avoids the pitfalls, if any, inherent in the form of the question. in an attempt to avoid this
conclusion, claims that the rules for interrogatories propounded under section 2030 are
the same as those for the taking of oral depositions. This is not so. Id. (emphasis Added);
Greyhound vs. Superior Court, (1961 56 Cal.2d 355, 391.

Thus, your objections as to the form of the question presented are without merit.

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