Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

In an unlimted civil case, in Southern Californai, Defendant's counsel served me (by mail) with Demand For Production of Documents For Inspection and Copying.

I know I have 30 days to respond (actually 35 days, because they send their demand by mail).

Defendant's counsel wants me to personally appear at their law firm at 10:00 AM on Wednesday May 22, 2013 (which will be the 35th day, and last day for me to serve them with my response, from when I was served with their Demand by mail), and show them my documents.

Most of their demands are vague and Im unable to respond properly, because they dont specify which incident they refer to, because I alleged 10 different causes of actions with different incidents.

Do I have to personally appear at their firm with my objections (since they scheduled a time & date for me to appear at their firm for them copying & inspection), or can I just mail by objections/responses on that 35th and final day to serve my responses?

Asked on 5/19/13, 1:55 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen

You should mail your objections on or before the 35th day and explain why you cannot respond in each of the objectionable requests. In those to which you can and do respond, you should be able to mail copies of the documents unless their originality is in question.

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Answered on 5/19/13, 5:26 pm

Charles Perry Law Offices of Charles R. Perry

Technically, the answer is "yes," you have to appear with the responsive documents that you intend to produce.

Allowing production at a different time and date, or by a different method, is usually fairly easy to negotiate. Some lawyers simply pick the earliest date as a matter of routine, and don't even expect the other side to show up at the time -- others do, however. It is best to keep in contact with the other side as to the production method and timing. This is especially true in more complex cases.

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Answered on 5/20/13, 12:57 am
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I agree with Mr. Perry. Many lawyers in this state thing that the discovery device is called a demand for production of documents - meaning the party who receives one has to make copies of the documents and mail them to the law firm serving the demand. If you look at the relevant code sections, however, it's not a production of documents. It is an inspection demand.

It has two parts. First is a response, which has a tricky format under the code. Basically, the responding party has to state whether they will, or will not allow the inspection, either in whole or in part. If they will not allow the inspection, they have to state why, which can be an objection, or a statement that the item does not exist, or no longer exists.

The second part is the production. The date for production must be at least 30 days after service of the demand. Experienced attorneys do not make those the same day, because it allows time to review the responses, and determine whether to meet and confer and move to compel further response, or to withdraw a request.

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Answered on 5/28/13, 4:52 pm

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