Court Imposes Sanctions for Boilerplate Discovery Objections

January 17, 2018 Casey C. Sullivan

When it comes to the sanctionable reliance on boilerplate, you can’t say the profession hasn’t been warned.

For years courts have attacked "the problem of boilerplate” in the discovery process, condemning the use of general objections to discovery requests. The courts’ opprobrium has only grown in strength and intensity in recent years, following the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Last February, U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck issued a “wake-up call” to the bar, warning that the continued use of boilerplate discovery objections violated updated Rule 34. “It is time for all counsel to learn the now-current Rules and update their 'form' files,” Judge Peck wrote, cautioning that failure to do so would henceforth waive all objections. The next month, Judge Mark W. Bennett, of the Northern District of Iowa, issued a similar opinion, explaining—IN ALL CAPS—that boilerplate objections raise the risk of substantial sanctions.

Now, the sanctions have begun.

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