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Reasons To Seek A Referee Appointment

California courts may appoint referees when parties file multiple discovery motions that the court cannot resolve quickly. On the other hand, counsel may voluntarily seek the appointment of a referee when it is more expedient to resolve sensitive, privileged, highly technical, or complex materials in this way. 

A discovery referee can be beneficial in several ways, including:

  • Reducing Costs  

Discovery is one of the most expensive phases of a lawsuit. A referee can address disputes as they emerge, resolve them without resorting to motions to compel, and help reduce conflict and tension among counsel and their clients. In short, a discovery referee can help to resolve disputes quickly, and expedite cases toward settlement or trial. 

  • Resolving Disputes Over Technical, Specialized, or Complex Discovery

In cases that involve highly technical matters, such as complex commercial litigation, financial industry matters, or construction defect cases, having a discovery referee with experience in those areas is essential. Referees with specialized knowledge better understand the information and can make more informed decisions regarding relevance and discoverability. Similarly, cases involving Electronically Stored Information (ESI) often require a referee familiar with related storage protocols and e-discovery. 

  • Saving Time

Appointing a referee can help to expedite the discovery phase of a lawsuit if:

  • The Court’s docket does not allow for discovery matters to be heard quickly due to congestion
  • Assistance is needed during the deposition of a difficult witness, requiring “on the spot” rulings to move the matter forward, 
  • There is a need to consider more expedited procedures to resolve discovery disputes that are usually allowed by statute or rules.

Contact Our Experienced Discovery Referee

Not every case needs a discovery referee; however, if your case does, turn to Dean Christopherson. Once engaged as a Discovery Referee, he can advise you on which type of appointment is best for your case and guide you on how to bring about that appointment. Contact us today to get started.