Civil Litigation Discovery Legal Topics New Lawyers

To Meet and Confer, You Need to Talk

If you have a “dispute concerning discovery,” the law requires that you try to resolve it informally by conferring with the opposing side. This meet-and-confer requirement can be met in person, by telephone, or by letter. But a letter or email alone generally won’t cut it; to really meet and confer, you need to talk to opposing counsel.

The best practice is to meet in person or by telephone and make a concerted effort to resolve matters that are truly in dispute.

When the dispute concerns substantive issues that will take a significant amount of court time, try to meet and confer in person. The court will be less inclined to resolve these complex issues if the parties gave only passing attention to the matter during the meet-and-confer process.

In fact, in many instances, the court will order the parties during the hearing to meet and confer in an empty jury room or the hallway and return when they’ve made an effort to resolve their differences.

In the following clip from CEB’s program Meet and Confer for the New Millennium: Conduct Expected in Discovery Disputes, attorney Sigrid Irias explains the benefits of a phone call or in-person meet and confer.

For more on the meet-and-confer requirement and guidance on motions to compel, turn to CEB’s California Civil Discovery Practice, chap 15 and Handling Motions to Compel and Other Discovery Motions (Action Guide).

Other CEBblog™ posts you may find useful:

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