Case Law

Citing “Reasonably Calculated” in Discovery Request is “All Too Familiar, But Never Correct”

New York

Pothen v. Stony Brook Univ., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146026 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 8, 2017) In this Title VII case, the plaintiff filed a motion to compel discovery, stating that “disclosure is never complete,” and issued a list of twenty-two requests that defendant was to answer. The defendant argued that discovery was complete, as the defendant had already complied with the court’s prior orders regarding discovery, the plaintiff confirmed that he would not be conducting further depositions, and discovery was set to close on September 15, 2017. The court reviewed FRCP 26(b)(1), and in particular, noted the importance of the proportionality factors in conducting discovery, especially as “the all too familiar, but never correct, iteration,” the familiar "reasonably calculated” language, was now missing from the rule. Furthermore, the court noted that FRCP 1 supported proportional discovery, as “[e]ffective advocacy is consistent with -- and indeed depends upon -- cooperative and proportional use of procedure,” and liberal judicial involvement. Using these standards, the court denied the plaintiff’s motions to compel, finding the discovery requests to be “irrelevant” or duplicative, and ordered that discovery still close on the date originally planned.

Keywords: Rule 26(b)(1), Motion to Compel, FRCP 1, Proportionality