a. Discovery Motions
The Court's experience is that parties can and should work out most discovery disputes. The Court will not hear or consider any discovery motions unless the parties have complied with the meet and confer requirement under Local Rule 37.2. Any discovery motion must state with specificity when and how the movant complied with Local Rule 37.2.
Parties are reminded that compliance with Local Rule 37.2 requires a good faith effort to resolve discovery disputes and, other than in exceptional circumstances, communication that takes place face to face or by telephone. The mere exchange of correspondence will not normally be sufficient to comply with Local Rule 37.2
All parties must be fully prepared to orally argue any discovery motion on the date that it is presented. The Court most often will decide discovery motions after oral argument at the motion call and without briefing. If after argument the Court believes that the motion requires briefing, the Court normally will set an expedited briefing schedule so that the matter can be resolved promptly.
The Court reminds the parties that there is no "order" or sequence in which discovery must take place; thus, one party’s alleged failure or inability to respond to discovery will not excuse any other party’s prompt compliance with discovery requests. The Court also reminds parties that the pendency of a motion, such as a motion to dismiss, does not – absent court order – operate as a stay of discovery.
b. Other Motions
The meet and confer requirement can have the same salutary effect on other disputes that it has in connection with discovery disputes. A candid discussion between the parties prior to filing motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, motions in limine and the like can limit the scope of such motions or eliminate the need for them to be filed at all.
Thus, the Court will apply the meet and confer requirement not just to discovery motions, but to all motions that a party wishes to file. The comments above concerning what must be done to comply with the meet and confer requirement will be applied with equal force, and in the same way, with respect to all other motions.
In particular, with respect to any motions for summary judgment, the Court requires the moving party to advise the opposing party in a short letter (e.g., 2-3 pages) of the basis for the motion (including relevant legal authority). Do not file the letter with the Court. The Court requires the moving party and the opposing party to meet and confer, during which time the opposing party should advise the moving party of factual matter or legal authority that it believes would defeat the motion. After this consultation, if the movant still wishes to file the motion, the movant should do so and the Court will address it. Any motion must state with specificity what the parties did to comply with the meet and confer requirement.