When opposing counsel responds to your discovery request by sending you a seemingly impossible bulk of disorganized materials, you may reasonably believe it is an intentional “document dump.” While producing a huge volume of materials could slow down the discovery process or make your job harder, it may not necessarily be a purposeful act of malfeasance.
If you have to sort through discovery materials that are far greater than what you initially anticipated, you will need to form a good game plan. Here are some issues that you may want to consider about how to manage the task ahead.
A request could have been too broad
One reason why opposing counsel could give you more than wanted is that you asked for it. Consider if the scope of your request was too large and included information that you did not really want.
Electronically stored information can be easier to sort through
Amended California civil procedure rules make electronic submission of certain materials mandatory. If you have not received electronic copies of records, consider if you can ask for them.
You may need reinforcements
Getting help from a document review team may be the most cost-effective and timely solution. Work with a team that has experience with the same type of records that you need help reviewing.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the discovery process, do not simply try to grin and bear it. Your clients are counting on you to make sure that you have the resources you need to manage evidence and provide outstanding advocacy.