Ortiz et al v. Hyatt Corporation et al
ORDER on Discovery Procedures. Signed by Magistrate Judge Andrea M. Simonton on 5/10/2011. (mmn)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 11-20868-CIV ALTONAGA/SIMONTON
ALEJANDRO ORTIZ, et al.,
ORDER ON DISCOVERY PROCEDURES
This matter is before the Court sua sponte. The Honorable Cecilia M. Altonaga,
United States District Judge, has referred all discovery motions and non-dispositive
motions filed pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12, 13, and 14 to the
undersigned Magistrate Judge. In order to efficiently resolve discovery disputes, the
parties are hereby notified that the following rules apply to discovery objections before
this Court. If discovery responses contrary to this Order have been made prior to the
entry of this Order, any response to a motion to compel shall correct the deficiency.
Counsel and parties are advised to thoroughly review the District
Judge’s Order Setting Trial and Pre-Trial Schedule, which sets an expedited
briefing schedule for motions to compel and motions for protective order.
1. Vague, Overly Broad, and Unduly Burdensome
The parties shall not make nonspecific, boilerplate objections. Such objections
do not comply with Local Rule 26.1(g)(3)(A), which provides, "Where an objection is
made to any interrogatory or sub-part thereof or to any document request under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 34, the objection shall state with specificity all grounds."
Objections that state that a discovery request is "vague, overly broad, or unduly
burdensome" are, standing alone, meaningless, and will be found meritless by this
Court. A party objecting on these grounds must explain the specific and particular way
in which a request is vague, overly broad, or unduly burdensome. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
33(b)(4); Josephs v. Harris Corp., 677 F.2d 985, 992 (3d Cir. 1982) ("[T]he mere statement
by a party that the interrogatory was ‘overly broad, burdensome, oppressive and
irrelevant' is not adequate to voice a successful objection to an interrogatory. On the
contrary, the party resisting discovery ‘must show specifically how . . . each
interrogatory is not relevant or how each question is overly broad, burdensome or
oppressive.'" [citation omitted]). If a party believes that the request is vague, that party
shall attempt to obtain clarification prior to objecting on this ground.
2. Objections Based Upon Scope
If there is an objection based upon an unduly broad scope, such as time frame or
geographic location, discovery should be provided as to those matters within the scope
that is not disputed. For example, if discovery is sought nationwide for a ten-year period,
and the responding party objects on the grounds that only a five-year period limited to
activities in the State of Florida is appropriate, the responding party shall provide
responsive discovery falling within the five-year period as to the State of Florida.
3. Irrelevant and Not Reasonably Calculated to Lead to
An objection that a discovery request is irrelevant and not reasonably calculated
to lead to admissible evidence must include a specific explanation describing why the
request lacks relevance and why the information sought will not reasonably lead to
admissible evidence. The parties are reminded that the Federal Rules allow for broad
discovery that does not need to be admissible at trial. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1);
Oppenheimer Fund, Inc., v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351-52 (1978); see also S.D. Fla. L.R.
4. Formulaic Objections Followed by an Answer
The parties shall not recite a formulaic objection followed by an answer to the
request. It has become common practice for a party to object on the basis of any of the
above reasons, and then state that "notwithstanding the above," the party will respond to
the discovery request, subject to or without waiving such objection. Such an objection
and answer preserves nothing and serves only to waste the time and resources of both
the parties and the Court. Further, such practice leaves the requesting party uncertain
as to whether the question has actually been fully answered or whether only a portion of
the question has been answered. See Civil Discovery Standards, 2004 A.B.A. Sec. Lit.
18; see also S.D. Fla. L.R. 26.1(g)(3)(A).
5. Objections Based upon Privilege
Generalized objections asserting attorney-client privilege or work product
doctrine also do not comply with the Local Rules. Local Rule 26.1(g)(3)(B) requires that
objections based upon privilege identify the specific nature of the privilege being
asserted, as well as, inter alia, the nature and subject matter of the communication at
issue, and the sender and receiver of the communication and their relationship to each
other. The parties are instructed to review Local Rule 26.1(g)(3)(B) carefully and to
refrain from objections such as: "Objection. This information is protected by
attorney/client and/or work product privilege." If a general objection of privilege is made
without attaching a proper privilege log, the objection of privilege may be deemed
DONE AND ORDERED in chambers in Miami, Florida, on May 10, 2011.
ANDREA M. SIMONTON
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Copies furnished via CM/ECF to:
All counsel of record
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