Court of Chancery Addresses Discovery Abuses

Morris James LLP

Terramar Retail Centers LLC v. Marion #2-Seaport Trust, C.A. No 12875-VCL (Del. Ch. Dec. 4, 2018)

The Court of Chancery has long demanded that litigants abide by the discovery rules and respect scheduling orders. This is an excellent summary of Delaware discovery obligations and a good list of many ways a litigant can go wrong in responding to discovery.

For example, it is common outside of Delaware to respond to document requests with blanket objections that precede vague promises to produce. Should those types of objections and responses end up before a Delaware court, they will be frowned upon, at least.

Depending on the case, the frequency, and the severity of the discovery abuses, results could be harsh. As in this decision, a sanction for multiple abuses may be evidence preclusion, barring the affirmative use of documents improperly withheld, even if those documents are later produced.

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