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California Law Revision Commission

-- Last revised 12/1/11 --

Civil Discovery Improvements - J503

    The Commission is studying whether California law on civil discovery could be improved by adopting approaches used in the federal courts or in other jurisdictions. This is a multi-year project.
    The Commission is assisted in this study by Professor Gregory Weber of McGeorge School of Law, who reviewed the discovery laws of the other forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the federal courts. Prof. Weber prepared a background study describing potentially useful approaches used in these other jurisdictions.
    The Commission has considered Prof. Weber's background study and identified a number of areas for further exploration. For details, see the Minutes of the Commission's May 2002 meeting, below. The Commission welcomes suggestions regarding additional matters in need of reform.
    The Commission has begun to investigate some areas of civil discovery. A final recommendation proposing a number of minor substantive improvements was enacted as 2005 Cal. Stat. ch. 294. A final recommendation on time limits for discovery in an unlawful detainer case was enacted as 2007 Cal. Stat. ch. 113.
    A final recommendation on the procedure for taking a deposition in California for purposes of an out-of-state proceeding was enacted as 2008 Cal. Stat. ch. 231. For information regarding the operative date of this legislation, see California Rule of Court 3.1015 (effective March 13, 2009) and pages 3-4 of Memo 2009-1.
    The Commission will examine other substantive issues relating to discovery as time permits.
    The Commission also proposed a nonsubstantive reorganization of the discovery statute, which was enacted and became operative on July 1, 2005. See 2004 Cal. Stat. ch. 182; Reorganization of Discovery Statute (Study J-504).
    If you have questions or comments on this study, send email to Barbara Gaal at

Related Material


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Final Recommendation

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Tentative Recommendations and Other Requests for Comment

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Meeting Minutes

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Staff Memoranda

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Background Study

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