Legal Memorandum: Extension of a Discovery Deadline

Issue: If a discovery deadline has already passed, does a Magistrate Judge have the discretion to extend that deadline?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Discovery; Timeline for discovery; Extension
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 07/01/2010

Although the timeline for discovery generally is within the Magistrate Judge’s discretion, that discretion can be abused and it may constitute gross abuse to refuse to allow adequate discovery. Voegli v. Lewis 568 F.2d 89, 96 (8th Cir. 1977).  Where the court’s discovery rulings may result in fundamental unfairness, the district court commits a gross abuse of discretion and will be reversed. Id.

However “broad and liberal treatment” is to be accorded in deposition discovery rules.  Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 507 (1947). 


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