Your lawyer has served your defendant with a set of discovery demands, a punch list of all the documents you know or believe your opponent has − documents that will help to prove your case.
Your defendant’s lawyer has not produced the discovery you demanded − never mind at the date in your demand. Instead, he’s whined about a “fishing expedition,” about how they don’t have the documents, blah blah blah.
What to do? For one thing, be glad you’re not suing the Indian Parliament. Because, according to Lowering the Bar’s pretty exotic and hilarious report:
Monkey Impersonators Hired to Deal With Parliament’s “Big Monkey Menace”
Maybe the CIA should consider blaming rogue monkeys for all that missing evidence. That’d be harder to pull off in Virginia than New Delhi, but it’s at least as good as the current explanations.
A member of India’s parliament suggested last week that monkeys were partly to blame for thousands of files missing from the Home Ministry, although he was plainly ridiculing officials who, he claimed, themselves blame monkeys whenever a file goes missing.
“Files in the Home Ministry are in such a bad condition that old files are strewn all over the corridors,” Rajeev Shukla said during a debate in the parliament’s upper house. “Whenever a file is lost it is said that monkeys have taken it away. There is a big monkey menace there,” Shukla declared, “and in this government there is a minister who is against any action against monkeys.”
Everyone was amused, but the joke only works because the monkey menace itself is all too real.
So never mind that “dog ate the discovery” excuse. The monkeys have it.
UPDATE 8/2/2014 at 5 pm. Excerpt from what I just discovered on Above the Law. A midwest judge is pissed over a federal case’s discovery process and his comment is a pretty good description:
Discovery — a process intended to facilitate the free flow of information between parties — is now too often mired in obstructionism. Today’s “litigators” are quick to dispute discovery requests, slow to produce information, and all-too-eager to object at every stage of the process. They often object using boilerplate language containing every objection imaginable, despite the fact that courts have resoundingly disapproved of such boilerplate objections. Some litigators do this to grandstand for their client, to intentionally obstruct the flow of clearly discoverable information, to try and win a war of attrition, or to intimidate and harass the opposing party. Others do it simply because it’s how they were taught…. Whatever the reason, obstructionist discovery conduct is born of a warped view of zealous advocacy, often formed by insecurities and fear of the truth. This conduct fuels the astronomically costly litigation industry at the expense of “the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.”
Here’s the entire story: Biglaw Firm Ordered To Make A Video Apologizing For Discovery Abuses « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law Schools, Law Suits, Judges and Courts + Career Resources.