Informal Discovery Conference
Before going to trial for a lawsuit, there is a procedure where each party can obtain evidence from the other party, or parties, by means of a “discovery device.” Such a device can be a request for documents, requests for admissions and depositions, as well as interrogatories. During this process, a discovery dispute may occur due to refusal of providing the requested information or if both parties have a disagreement on what should be provided. If this arises, the requesting party may file a motion to compel discovery. However, filing motions can be incredibly expensive and time consuming, as well as a waste in court resources.
This is when an Informal Discovery Conference (IDC) is made with the judge. A discussion takes place between the lawyers and the judge if a resolution can be made. When the dispute is presented to the judge, the opposing party can explain why they are Not entitled to the discovery. The judge will use their professional experience and either agree to the entitlement or not. Usually, if the judge agrees that the party is entitled to that discovery, the opposing party most likely will agree. However, if the parties still cannot come to a resolution, then the motion to compel must still be filed.
An IDC can be helpful and efficient, but it is not a guaranteed method to obtain information the party is seeking. And an IDC may not be approved at all. Depending on how reasonable the parties are, they could file a motion and let the court formally decide on the issue. Some parties may have a higher chance of agreeability if the judge is present. Speaking to an experienced business litigator will give you confidence in the whole process and protect your legal rights while mitigating legal expenses. Always consult an attorney for legal advice and procedures. Particularly in the realm of an IDC, unnecessary delays can be prevented