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When does discovery END in Federal Court? I.e. when does the…

When does discovery END in...
When does discovery END in Federal Court? I.e. when does the time for a defendant to request production of discovery end? There has never been FRCP 26 conference held. Nor has there been any other conference or status held. If discovery has ended (in the answering attorney's view), based on what rule or case law? Conversely, how to asset that discovery is still open?
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/19/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

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So, depending on what you're discovering, there are different timelines. Generally, the parties do need to have a conference before discovery can begin.

Rule 26(a)(2) says that 90 days before trial, expert disclosures must be submitted; Rule 26(a)(2) says pre-trial disclosures must be made 30 days before trial; and fifteen days before trial is the deadline for objections to evidence.

If discovery ends without the parties having a meeting or exchange evidence, either party can request a continuance with the courts to push out the date of trial to give the parties more time to conduct discovery.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hello. Thank you for the answer (and sorry for the delayed reply). This doesn't really answer the question though.I get the timelines for expert witnesses and disclosures, etc.. The question is about when does discovery stop. I will try to be more clear below. All times are approximate, but should suffice for this example.Case is removed from state court to federal court in August, 2016.
A variety of motions are made between August, 2016 and September, 2017.
In September, 2017, the court orders a trial for May 1, 2018.
Between August 2016 and September 2017, neither party offers any discovery, nor does either party request discovery.
January, 2018 defendant sends a request for production of documents (assume the request is reasonable, the documents relevant).
Plaintiff responds that they will not send any, as discovery has closed. The request is not timely. Plaintiff offers no FRCP, local rule, or case law to support the notion that discovery has closed.Is the Plaintiff right? Is the request untimely? Can they refuse to respond to the request for production? (i.e. - when does discovery close).

Goodness. I'm sorry I did not clarify.

The discovery deadlines outside of expert and pre-trial disclosures are going to be set by the court. Typically, the parties will meet to discuss the discovery issues and propose a deadline for it. They will often present this to the judge and the judge will enter an order all parties must abide by. Without a discovery deadline ordered by the court, there's no specific deadline for that.

So, in a weird way, the plaintiff's request is not untimely because there's no deadline, but without a deadline, the defendant isn't technically bound to answer because it's arguable that the deadline has passed.

The plaintiff needs to a) get with the other party to develop a discovery deadline and b) propose this deadline to the court and possibly request a continuance to help the discovery be effective.

Legal Eagle
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you. Seems the judge needs to decide. (btw, I assume that this works in either direction - regardless of who recently asked for production, there is a grey area as to if there ever was a deadline, and therefore, did it pass already).
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