Attorneys easily spew out the objection “the information you are seeking is not relevant to the subject matter of the litigation” as easily as they say “Good morning.” If you are the propounding party your reaction is probably to be to yell out “It is too relevant!” because it doesn’t even appear that the responding party actually thought it through before spewing out the objection. But what exactly is relevancy? It seems to be a nebulous term that invokes images of catching clouds with your hands or like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s definition of pornography “I know it when I see it”?
The standard for relevancy in Discovery is set forth in C.C.P. Section 2017.010 which states:
Any party may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action or to the determination of any motion made in that action, if the matter either is itself admissible in evidence or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.”
However, this definition isn’t exactly helpful either. Unfortunately, there is no bright line test to determine what is relevant. Instead you must rely on numerous cases that bounce you from flipper to flipper like a pinball to get a sense as to what relevancy means for Discovery.
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