General Procedures - All parties must comply with FRCP 26 and N.D. Ill. L.R. 26.1. Parties are advised that there is no “order” in which discovery must occur. One party’s failure or inability to respond to discovery requests does not excuse any other party’s timely compliance. Parties also are reminded that the pendency of a motion – even a dispositive motion – does not operate as an automatic stay of discovery.
Discovery Disputes Generally - Parties should make every effort to resolve discovery disputes without the need for judicial intervention. Accordingly, discovery motions should be filed only as a last resort and will not be heard unless the moving party has complied with the “meet and confer” requirement of Local Rule 37.2. Any discovery motion must state with specificity when and how the moving party complied with Local Rule 37.2. Compliance with Local Rule 37.2 requires a good faith effort to resolve discovery disputes and ordinarily requires face-to-face or telephonic communication. In most instances, exchange of correspondence will not be sufficient under the Local Rules.
If a discovery motion becomes necessary, parties should be prepared to present argument on the date that the motion is presented. If the Court does not rule on the motion after hearing argument, it ordinarily will request expedited briefing so that the matter can be resolved promptly.
Electronic Discovery Disputes – If the parties have reached an impasse regarding the discovery of voluminous records from a database, server, computer, service provider or similar electronic storage facility (ESF), before filing a motion to compel, the parties are required to meet and confer with an IT representative of the ESF to be searched in order to determine the most effective way to retrieve the requested material. The party seeking the discovery must also bring its IT specialist to this meeting in order to discuss the proper format for the retrieval of the records. This electronic discovery conference must take place in person and both sides should be prepared to discuss specifically the parameters of both the search and the ESF.