Judge's Corner

Article Index

Judicial Challenges The Honorable Janet Stauffer, 7th Judicial Circuit (August/September 2017)

Use of Fictitious Names for Parties in Civil Litigation in Oregon The Honorable James Hargreaves (Senior Judge, retired), Lane County Circuit Court (June/July 2017)

The Judge's Pledge The Honorable Susan Tripp, Marion County Circuit Court (May/June 2017)

Organizing for the Courtroom The Honorable Daniel R. Murphy, Linn County Circuit Court (March/April 2017)

A Two Year Journey with Odyssey in Juvenile Court The Honorable Lindsay Partridge, Marion County Circuit Court (January/February 2017)

Lane County Streamlined Jury Trial Project The Honorable Curtis Conover, Lane County Circuit Court (November/December 2016)

20 Ways to Further Justice The Honorable Ilisa Rooke-Ley, Lane County Circuit Court (October/November 2016)

Managing Multi-Party/Complex Litigation without Driving Your Judge Crazy (and maybe even making it easier for everyone) The Honorable Henry Kantor, Multnomah County Circuit Court (September 2016)

Managing Multi-Party/Complex Litigation without Driving the Judge's Staff Crazy The Honorable Eve L. Miller, Clackamas County Circuit Court (August 2016)

Do's and Don'ts in the Courtroom The Honorable Lisa Greif, Jackson County Circuit Court (June/July 2016)

Preparation for a Status, Case Management, or Pretrial conference - or how to get more out of a non-evidentiary proceeding in criminal and family court cases The Honorable Kirsten E. Thompson, Washington County Circuit Court (April/May 2016)

Postponements The Honorable Richard Barron, Presiding Judge, Coos/Curry County Circuit Court (March 2016)

Consider Trying More Cases The Honorable Suzanne Chanti, Lane County Circuit Court Judge (February 2016)

Professionalism - It Counts Both In and Out of the Courtroom The Honorable Brian Dretke, Union County Circuit Court Judge (January 2016)

Changes to Sex Changes The Honorable Beth A. Allen, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge (December 2015)

Top 25 Tips from a Senior Judge The Honorable Michael C. Sullivan, Senior Judge (retired), Deschutes County (November 2015)

How to Succeed at Power Point In the Courtroom The Honorable Michael McShane, US District Court (October 2015)

Effective Use of Evidence At Jury Trial The Honorable Matthew Donohue, Benton County Circuit Court (September 2015)

Making a Record for Appeal, The Honorable Charles M. Zennaché, Lane County Circuit Court (August 2015)

Access to Civil Justice in Oregon's State Courts, The Honorable David Brewer, Associate Justice, Oregon Supreme Court (July 2016)

What Jurors Want: A Look Into the Minds of Jurors, The Honorable John V. Acosta, United States Magistrate Judge (June 2015)

Handling the "Half-se" Hearing, The Honorable Mustafa Kasubhai, Lane County Circuit Court (May 2015)

Effective Voir Dire, Judge Thomas Hart, Marion County Circuit Court (April 2015)

The New Judge on the Block, Judge Lung S. Hung, Malheur County Circuit Court (March 2015)

The Gift of Finality: One PJ's Perspective, Judge Karsten H. Rasmussen, Lane County Circuit Court (February 2015)

ORCP 68 Attorney Fees - when, why and how to seek them, Judge Deanne L. Darling, Clackamas Juvenile Court (January 2015)

Difficult questions must be answered before they are asked, Judge Edward J. Jones, Multnomah County Circuit Court (December 2014)

Judicially Hosted Settlement Conferences, Judge Jamese L. Rhoades and Sr. Judge Don Dickey, Marion County Circuit Court (November 2014)

Working together to make discovery more efficient, The Honorable Youlee Yim You, Multnomah County Circuit Court (October 2014)

Court Trials - A Jury of One, The Honorable Katherine E. Tennyson, Multnomah County Circuit Court (September 2014)

Making the Most of Short Evidentiary Hearings, The Honorable Daniel R. Murphy, Linn County Circuit Court (August 2014)

Vouching, The Honorable Jay McAlpin, Lane County Circuit Court (July 2014)

Appropriate Jury Instructions Can Help Litigators Win Trials, The Honorable Paula Brownhill, Clatsop County Circuit Court (June 2014)

Evidentiary Hearings and Motion Practice in the era of Oregon e-court, The Honorable Benjamin Bloom, Jackson County Circuit Court (May 2014)

Motions in Limine - Tips for "Newer" Litigators, The Honorable Jodie Mooney, Lane County Circuit Court (April 2014)

The Honorable Youlee Yim You, Circuit Judge
Multnomah County Circuit Court

(October 2014)

Working together to make discovery more efficient

Why do discovery motions have such a bad rep? Do judges really hate them so much? What can we do collectively, as judges and attorneys, to improve the process so it is more efficient? Here are some of my thoughts. I am interested to hear others.

1, Take the extra time to truly meet and confer.

Very frequently judges will be in the middle of a motion hearing when an attorney from one side will say to the other side, "Oh, I did not realize that is what you were asking for," or tell the judge, "That is different from what opposing counsel told me he/she wanted."

To avoid this from happening, consider picking up the phone and calling opposing counsel rather than using email. Email exchanges, while convenient in many instances, are no substitute for a true conversation. (And to the extent you do email, keep in mind that whatever you say is in writing - forever. You can expect your snarky comments will be included in any future discovery motion that is made.)

2. Winnow your requests.

When drafting your discovery motion, consider what you really need and whether you can winnow your requests. For judges, 35 requests mean 35 separate decisions, which is a daunting and time consuming task. While it is a judge's job to make lots of decisions every day, we certainly suffer from decision fatigue.

Also consider carefully the scope of what you are asking for. When you tailor your request to something reasonable you don't run the risk of a judge outright rejecting your entire request on the basis that it is overly broad and burdensome.

3. Come to the hearing prepared to negotiate.

If you have filed an extra-large discovery motion with me, expect that I will first send you into the jury room with opposing counsel before we hold any hearing. I find it is often helpful for counsel to sit down and discuss the issues. Sometimes attorneys tell me they have resolved the entire motion, and other times they tell me they have resolved at least a portion of it.

4. Suggest an informal discussion with the judge.

In Multnomah County, cases are assigned to individual judges after a motion is filed. If you have been assigned to a judge for motions, consider asking opposing counsel if he/she would agree to a quick informal meeting with the judge to resolve the issue. You might be able to resolve the matter early on without causing your client to incur fees.

5. Think twice about requesting fees.

Speaking of fees, arguably what judges dislike more than discovery motions are motions for attorney fees filed in conjunction with discovery motions. Consider the odds of getting attorney fees before you go to the added time and expense of filing such a motion.

 

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