A meet and confer letter for discovery in Federal Court is the topic of this blog post.
A meet and confer letter for discovery in Federal Court can be used when one party has failed to timely respond to discovery requests sent by another party.
However a meet and confer letter for discovery in Federal Court can also be used in other situations as well although this blog post will discuss the use of a meet and confer letter as it relates to a hypothetical situation where the other party has filed to serve any responses at all to discovery requests.
The accepted practice for most attorneys and law firms is that if one party serves discovery requests on another party and the other party fails to timely respond the propounding party or their attorney will serve an initial meet and confer letter reminding that party that their responses are now overdue and requesting that they respond within a certain period of time usually 10 days.
I have worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and I have always been asked to prepare and I did prepare an initial meet and confer letter when the responding party had failed to serve timely responses. That is because Judges will expect the propounding party to make an effort to meet and confer before filing any motion to compel even if the other party has not provided any responses at all.
I am not an attorney and this is just my personal opinion but I believe that the propounding party should prepare and serve an initial meet and confer letter and then wait a few days before contacting the responding party or their counsel by telephone if possible and remind them that their discovery responses are now overdue and they need to respond right away. If they are not available leave a voice-mail message. Contacting them by fax and e-mail is also a good idea.
If the 10 days goes by and no responses have been received another letter should be sent this time more strongly worded and notifying the responding party that if no responses are received within 5-7 days that motions to compel will be filed requesting sanctions including all costs and attorney’s fees associated with the motions to compel. Another contact should again be made by phone, and fax and e-mail if feasible again reminding them of the short deadline to provide the responses or a motion to compel will be filed.
If no responses are received by the deadline specified in the second meet and confer letter than motions to compel should be filed and a supporting declaration should be filed with specific facts detailing the dates of each letter, phone call, fax and e-mail so the Judge will see that the moving party has done everything that they could to reach an informal resolution of the matter.
Sample meet and confer letter in Federal Court in Word format.
Attorneys or parties that would like to view a sample meet and confer letter in Federal Court created by the author and available for FREE download in Microsoft Word format can see below.
The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal that has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.
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Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.
The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.