RECENT AMENDMENTS MAKE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO CALIFORNIA’S DISCOVERY ACT: WINTER 2024

California CCP § 2016.090 has recently been amended resulting in significant change to California’s Discovery Act. For all cases filed on or after January 1, 2024, parties are required to exchange initial disclosures within 60 days of a demand from any party, which aligns California more closely with federal initial disclosure requirements. Pursuant to the revised CCP §2016.090, initial disclosures must include the following information:

  • The names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of all persons likely to have discoverable information, along with the subjects of that information, that the disclosing party may use to support its claims or defenses, or that is relevant to the subject matter of the action,” excluding any information that would be used solely for impeachment and information concerning expert witnesses or retained consultants.
  • Production or a description “by category and location, of all documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things that the disclosing party has in its possession, custody, or control and may use to support its claims or defenses, or that is relevant to the subject matter of the action,” excluding any information that would be used solely for impeachment.
  • Any contractual agreement or insurance policy under which an insurance company or person may be liable to satisfy a judgment.

Parties can also propound supplemental demands for initial disclosures – twice before the initial setting of the trial date, and once after the initial setting of the trial date. Exceptions to the initial disclosure requirement generally do not apply to civil litigation aside from cases where preference was granted pursuant to CCP § 36, and where plaintiff is not represented by counsel.

CCP § 2023.050 was also amended to increase the current $250 sanction to a minimum $1,000 sanction on any party or attorney who fails to respond to a document request or meet and confer in good faith.

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