Civil Discovery Improvements - J503


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California Law Revision Commission


-- Last revised 12/17/17 --

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.

    To assist the Commission in this study, Professor Gregory Weber (McGeorge School of Law) 
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.

    After reviewing Prof. Weber's background study, the Commission 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 since investigated 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 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).

    In 2017, the Commission started to examine some other discovery issues (see 
Memo 2017-26), but it put that work on hold in light of 
AB 383 (Chau), 
2017 Cal. Stat. ch. 189. The Commission is currently monitoring the effect of AB 383, which is scheduled to sunset on January 1, 
2023. The Commission may recommence work on civil discovery in the future.

    If you have questions or comments on this study, send email to Barbara Gaal at


Related Material


Top | CLRC Homepage

Final Recommendation

Top | CLRC Homepage

Tentative Recommendations and Other Requests for Comment

Top | CLRC Homepage


Meeting Minutes

Top | CLRC Homepage

Staff Memoranda

Top | CLRC Homepage


Background Study

Top | CLRC Homepage



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