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Discovery

Before commencing formal discovery, contact Judge Cook’s Court Clerk to schedule a Rule 16 Scheduling Conference.

The Court applies the initial disclosure requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1) during each initial status conference. The Court has had occasion to strike or limit a lay witness' trial testimony as a result of a party's failure to comply with Rule 26(a)(3). The Court has a standard pretrial or scheduling order that is entered in each case. The scheduling order requires that the parties exchange witness lists prior to the close of discovery. The Court enforces the stay of discovery imposed on the parties by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d) until they have met pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f). The Court enforces the meeting of parties and formulation of a proposed discovery plan pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f).

When determining whether the Court should grant leave to a party to serve more than 25 interrogatories the Court considers the following: the complexity of the issues in controversy, the number of proposed "excess" interrogatories, the duplicity, if any, of the proposed "excess" interrogatories, the relationship between the date of filing of the motion and the close of discovery, and the reasons that have been given in support of the motion. When determining whether the Court should grant leave to a party to exceed 10 depositions, the Court considers the following: the complexity of the issues in controversy, the reasons for seeking additional depositions, the number of depositions that have been requested in excess of 10, and the relationship between the projected dates of depositions and the trial date.

The Court generally allows up to six months of discovery, depending on the nature of the suit, and convenes conferences for scheduling particular discovery only upon motion. Judge Cook requires disclosure of all witnesses including expert witnesses at or before the discovery cutoff.

The Court strictly adheres to the requirements of LR 37.1 concerning narrowing areas of disagreement on discovery disputes. Discovery motions are referred to the Magistrate Judge. The Court uses a blanket order regarding all discovery motions and will not resolve deposition disputes by telephone except in unusual circumstances. Extension of the discovery cut-off date may be requested by motion only prior to and after the cutoff date.


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