Legal Memorandum: The Specifics of the Objection

Issue: Under the Federal Rules, when objecting to a discovery request, how specific must the statement of objections be?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Specifics of the objection; An objection to a document request; Burden
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2013

“[P]at, generic, non-specific objections, intoning the same boilerplate language, are inconsistent with both the letter and the spirit of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  An objection to a document request must clearly set forth the specifics of the objection and how that objection relates to the documents being demanded.  The burden is on the party resisting discovery to clarify and explain precisely why its objections are proper given the broad and liberal construction of the discovery rules found in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”  Obiajulu v. City of Rochester, Dept. of Law, 166 F.R.D. 293, 294 (W.D.N.Y. 1996).

“The objecting party bears the burden of demonstrating ‘specifically how, despite the broad and liberal construction afforded the federal discovery rules, each [request] is not relevant.'”  Klein v. AIG Trading Group, Inc. 228 F.R.D. 418, 422 (D. Conn. 2005) (quoting Compagnie Francaise d’Assurance Pour le Commerce Exterieur v. Phillips Petroleum Co., 105 F.R.D. 16, 42 (S.D.N.Y. 1984)).


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