What is an Informal Discovery Conference?

Informal resolution of discovery disputes is a centerpiece of California civil practice, requiring civil litigants to make “a serious attempt to obtain an informal resolution of each issue.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 2025(o).)

This rule is designed “to encourage the parties to work out their differences informally so as to avoid the necessity for a formal order.” (McElhaney v. Cessna Aircraft Co. (1982) 134 Cal.App.3d 285, 289, 184 Cal.Rptr. 547.) “This, in turn, will lessen the burden on the court and reduce the unnecessary expenditure of resources by litigants through promotion of informal, extrajudicial resolution of discovery disputes.” (Townsend v. Super. Ct. (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 1431, 1435.)

Legal Standard

The Legislature passed AB 383, which adds Section 2016.080 to the Code of Civil Procedure, effective January 1, 2018. According to this section, “[i]f an informal resolution is not reached by the parties, as described in Section 2016.040, the court may conduct an informal discovery conference upon request by a party or on the court's own motion for the purpose of discussing discovery matters in dispute between the parties.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 2016.080(a).)

A determination of whether an attempt at informal resolution is adequate involves the exercise of discretion. (Stewart v. Colonial Western Agency, Inc. (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 1006, 1012-1013.) Among the factors the court should consider are the history of the litigation, the nature of the interaction between counsel, the nature of the issues, the type and scope of discovery requested, and the prospects for success. (Id.) A trial judge's perceptions on such matters, inherently factual in nature at least in part, must not be lightly disturbed. (Id.)

Timelines

“If an informal discovery conference is granted or ordered, the court may toll the deadline for filing a discovery motion.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 2016.080(c)(2).)

Useful Rulings on Informal Discovery Conference

Recent Rulings on Informal Discovery Conference

STEPHEN ALAN GREEN VS AXIALL CORPORATION, ET AL

Before a motion to compel further responses or production of documents will be heard, counsel for the moving and opposing parties must participate in an informal discovery conference with the Court. That confer can be scheduled by calling the court clerk.

  • Hearing

    Sep 29, 2020

  • Judge

    H. Jay Ford

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

CAROLE SIEGEL VS ROBERT HERMAN VOGEL

The Informal Discovery Conference On August 27, 2020, the Court held an Informal Discovery Conference (“IDC”). The Court’s order in connection thereto stated that: (1) counsel would meet and confer on the possible appointment of a discovery master; and (2) the motion for protective order would remain on calendar. DISCUSSION It is improper for an attorney to coach a witness during a deposition. (Tucker v. Pacific Bell Mobile Services (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 1548, 1560-1561.)

  • Hearing

    Sep 29, 2020

GOVIND VAGHASHIA VS PRASHANT VAGHASHIA ET AL

The court notes that the parties held an Informal Discovery Conference on August 13, 2020 and could not resolve the discovery issues pertinent to these motions. Merits Code of Civil Procedure Section 2030.300 provides, in pertinent part, as follows: (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.

  • Hearing

    Sep 28, 2020

LENCI ORDAZ VS AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR COMPANY, INC.

The court notes that had the parties scheduled an informal discovery conference, some of the documents sought could have been better identified and narrowed so as to avoid this dispute. Discussion On 9/21/20, the parties submitted a joint statement in response to the court’s interim ruling issued on 8/28/20. With one exception (RFP 7), the parties have not been able to resolve their discovery dispute in this lemon law case. I.

  • Hearing

    Sep 28, 2020

FERNANDO ZELAYA VS FRANCISCO ALVAREZ

The parties are ordered to participate in an Informal Discovery Conference (“IDC”) as required by the Court’s Standing Order Re: PI Court Procedures (9/26/19), which is available on the LA Superior Court’s website, under the Personal Injury section. The hearing on the MTCF is continued to _____{{TBD}}________, _____ at 10:00 a.m. in Department 31 of the Spring Street Courthouse.

  • Hearing

    Sep 28, 2020

STARR VS STARR

The potential options are (1) a voluntary settlement conference, (2) an informal discovery conference [Code Civ. Proc., § 2016.080] or (3) appointment of a discovery referee [Code of Civil Procedure section 639 & California Rules of Court, Rule 3.920]. The party shall be prepared to discuss whether any of these procedures would be appropriate.

  • Hearing

    Sep 28, 2020

AMBER NICHOLE GUTIERREZ, ET AL. VS BTS, A LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, ET AL.

The parties are ordered to participate in an Informal Discovery Conference (“IDC”) as required by the Court’s First Amended Standing Order Re: PI Court Procedures (2/24/20), which is available on the LA Superior Court’s website, under the Personal Injury section. The hearing on the Motion to Compel is continued to November 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in Department 27 of the Spring Street Courthouse.

  • Hearing

    Sep 28, 2020

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

DIMAS C. GARCIA, ET AL. VS FORD MOTOR COMPANY, A DELAWARE CORPORATION, ET AL.

The Court ordered the parties to participate in an Informal Discovery Conference and continued the hearing on the motion to allow for an IDC. The parties failed to schedule or participate in an IDC. In the future, the parties are to comply with the Court’s requirement that they participate in an IDC before filing a motion to compel further responses. The Court rules as follows: Request No. 30: Granted in part.

  • Hearing

    Sep 25, 2020

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

SOCORRO COBARRUVIAS VS LOS ANGELES COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT ET

The parties are ordered to participate in an Informal Discovery Conference (“IDC”) as required by the Court’s Standing Order Re: PI Court Procedures (9/26/19), which is available on the LA Superior Court’s website, under the Personal Injury section. The hearing on the MTCF is continued to ____{{TBD))______________ 10:00 a.m. in Department 31 of the Spring Street Courthouse.

  • Hearing

    Sep 25, 2020

ANTONIO TEMORES REYES, ET AL. VS FCA US LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, ET AL.

However, the court intends to schedule and conduct an informal discovery conference. (CCP § 2016.080(a)) The parties did not avail of that opportunity before Plaintiff’s motion was filed and have not had any further attempts to meet and confer. The IDC will be conducted via LACourtConnect on the morning of the hearing (9/25/20), but at 11:00 a.m. Counsel should check in with that time change in mind.

  • Hearing

    Sep 25, 2020

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

AMOS ZHANG , ET AL. VS JACK KITTS, ET AL.

In the personal injury courts, before a hearing may be held on a motion to compel further responses to discovery (including to deposition questions), the moving party must first seek an Informal Discovery Conference (“IDC”) with the court. (Standing Order Re: Personal Injury Procedures, Central District, ¶¶ 12-13, effective 9/26/18.) The court’s file does not indicate that the Plaintiff requested or that the parties participated in an IDC prior to the hearing date.

  • Hearing

    Sep 25, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

DEBRA MARKS ET AL VS LAURIE GOUETT ET AL

Here, both parties seek monetary sanctions with Trade Center requesting $1,860 asserting that Plaintiff forced it to file the current motion to compel and Plaintiff seeking $2,250 in sanctions alleging that Trade Center filed its motion in violation of an agreement to extend Plaintiff’s response time, failed to schedule an informal discovery conference, and through related alleged misconduct.

  • Hearing

    Sep 25, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Auto

LEADSMARKET.COM LLC VS JOSEPH FALLS

PROCEDURAL ISSUES LeadsMarket requests judicial notice (“RJN”) of various Employee Handbooks issued in various years and a declaration of Maksym Holovchenko that was submitted in conjunction with an Informal Discovery Conference heard on February 11, 2020. LeadsMarket asserts that the attached employee handbooks are referenced in the FACC. However, none of the Employee Handbooks submitted in the RJN, except for the employee handbook identified as the October 2017 handbook (RJN Exh.

  • Hearing

    Sep 25, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

ALEJANDRA THORPE VS 459 SOUTH OAKHURST, L.L.C.

Plaintiff’s (1) Motion to Compel Responses to Special and Form Interrogatories; (2) Motion to Compel Responses to RFPs; and (3) Motion to Deem RFAs Admitted are ordered off calendar pending counsel’s participation in the Informal Discovery Conference scheduled for 10-1-20. Under CCP §2016.808 the Court orders counsel to participate in an IDC to address the substance of the disputes over the referenced motions as well as any other pending or potential discovery disputes.

  • Hearing

    Sep 24, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

  • Judge

    H. Jay Ford

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

FLESCHMAN VS VOLVO CARS OF NORTH AMERICA LLC

After an exchange of meet and confer letters, the filing this motion and participating in an Informal Discovery Conference, Plaintiff Marvin Fleschman served supplemental responses to the Special Interrogatories. Three responses continue to be deficient: Special Interrogatory No. 37, 40 and 47. These interrogatories target plaintiff's allegations regarding the fraud and a failure to disclose defects to plaintiff about plaintiff's vehicle.

  • Hearing

    Sep 24, 2020

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

SPERRY VS SANCHEZ HEARING RE: MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER BY ERIC SPERRY, JENA SPERRY

., appearance to be via WebEx absent further notice of the Court, and will be heard on that date if the issues presented are not resolved by the Informal Discovery Conference. In order to conduct the Informal Discovery Conference, the Court orders counsel to provide the Court with the following information: a. Contact information for all counsel who will be participating in the discovery conference, including email address and telephone number.

  • Hearing

    Sep 24, 2020

ALVAREZ VS ZOOK

Accordingly, the Court orders that no further discovery motions may be filed by the defendants without court authorization following an informal discovery conference. An IDC may be requested via the departmental email address: [email protected] Analysis: Given the plaintiff’s offer to stipulate in writing that she will not pursue a claim for loss of earnings, most of the records sought are irrelevant.

  • Hearing

    Sep 24, 2020

HESPER NATALE, ET AL V. TERI HARMON-PERRY, SKY RIVER, INC., ET AL

Defendants request an informal discovery conference to resolve this motion. In reply, Natale reiterates that the notices of deposition expressly specify that counsel for the witness may be present, allow for social distancing measures and did not require that the deponent or counsel be physically present in San Luis Obispo.

  • Hearing

    Sep 24, 2020

BETTY HEWITT VS EDGE ROOFING, INC., ET AL.

The Court orders the parties to attend an informal discovery conference prior to ruling on these motions. (See Department 34 Trial Orders, part VII(B).) The Court orders the parties contact Department 34’s judicial assistant, Reyna Navarro, at (213) 633-0154 to schedule this informal discovery conference.

  • Hearing

    Sep 24, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

RACHEL SANCHEZ VS FCA US LLC, ET AL.

The Court orders the parties contact Department 34’s judicial assistant, Reyna Navarro, at (213) 633-0154 to schedule this informal discovery conference.

  • Hearing

    Sep 23, 2020

ANN MARIE STREIBICH VS MARK SHINNICK

On June 19, 2020, the Court scheduled an Informal Discovery Conference (“IDC”) for July 23, 2020 and noted that “Plaintiff’s motions to compel production will be set after the parties participate and complete an Informal Discovery Conference with the Court. The Court ordered the parties to meet and confer prior to the IDC by videoconference with respect to the outstanding discovery motions and also ordered the parties to prepare a joint 5-page IDC statement detailing these efforts in a by July 21, 2020.”

  • Hearing

    Sep 22, 2020

JAQUELINE MOMOLI VS RELIANCE UPHOLSTERY SUPPLY CO., INC.

The Court orders the parties to attend an informal discovery conference prior to ruling on these motions. (See Department 34 Trial Orders, part VII(B).) The Court orders the parties contact Department 34’s judicial assistant, Reyna Navarro, at (213) 633-0154 to schedule this informal discovery conference.

  • Hearing

    Sep 22, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

TERESA DELFIN VS WHITTIER COLLEGE, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

This order is not a bar to seeking further relief (which may require a new informal discovery conference) once the questions are propounded at the deposition. Conclusion Based on the foregoing, Defendant’s motion to quash is denied at this time. Plaintiff is ordered to provide notice of this ruling. DATED: September 22, 2020 ________________________________ Hon. Teresa A. Beaudet Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court

  • Hearing

    Sep 22, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

BARRY KELLMAN VS TITLE RECOVERY SERVICES, LLC, ET AL.

During the August 31, 2020 Informal Discovery Conference (“IDC”) the parties agreed Defendants would produce the following: (1) information as to Akinyemi’s full legal name and any other names used in the past five years and his date and place of birth [within five days]; (2) any agreement regarding the subject property between Akinyemi and TRS (relating to RFP No. 12) [within two weeks]; and (3) any agreement regarding the subject property between any entities in which Akinyemi has an interest and TRS (relating

  • Hearing

    Sep 21, 2020

MIDLAND ENTERTAINMENT LLC VS HYDRA GROUP LLC ET AL

Midland in opposition points to the court’s order of May 23, 2019, with regard to a motion to compel further responses addressing discovery requests in which the present request was at issue, and in which the parties agreed to the production of the Singer settlement agreement and the court suggested the parties address further Singer-related discovery issues with the requests to an informal discovery conference. (Opposition at p. 6; Exh. B at p. 23.)

  • Hearing

    Sep 21, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

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