Production of Documents and Other Things

AuthorJennifer Duncan-Brice
Def‌initions: A request for production of documents is a request by a party to inspect, sample, test, photograph or
copy documents or other tangible things in another party’s possession, custody or control. A party can also request
inspection of documents and other tangible items of a nonparty pursuant to a court order or by means of deposition
subpoena or an independent action for discovery.
Scope: Rules and techniques applicable to requesting documents, responding to a request, producing documents, and
compelling production. Discovery of medical records, public records, and computer records. Objections to production
requests, stipulations, and protective orders for conf‌idential materials.
Strategies and Tactics:
Requester: Serve written requests for documents early. Draft requests that identify the requested items with reasonable
particularity. Use Def‌initions and Instructions sections to make the detailed requests more concise, effective, clearer,
and less objectionable.
Respondent: Work with the client to compile the responsive items. Segregate the items you will withhold (e.g., non-re-
sponsive, privileged, conf‌idential and trade-secret matter) from materials you will produce. To avoid waiving objections
to the request, timely serve a written response asserting all the objections you want to preserve. If the request seeks
conf‌idential information, propose the parties enter into a Conf‌identiality Agreement and consent to a protective order.
Statutes and Rules: SCR 214.
Related Topics: Presuit Activities, Ch 2; All Discovery, Ch 20; Requests for Admissions, Ch 26; Interrogatories, Ch
25; Discovery Disputes, Ch 27; Depositions, Ch 23.
Forms: See digital access for the following forms:
Form 20:20, Stipulation to Extend Discovery.
Form 20:30, Stipulated Protective Order.
Form 22:10, Request for Production.
Form 27:110, Motion to Quash Subpoena for Deposition and for a Protective Order.
Illinois Pretrial Practice 22-2
A. General Points
§22:01 Introduction
§22:02 No Court Order Required
§22:03 Governing Rules
§22:04 “Request” Def‌ined
§22:05 “Document” Def‌ined
§22:06 Who Can Be Made Respondents
§22:07 Multi-Party Cases
§22:08 Scope of Requests
§22:09 No Limit on Number of Requests for Documents
§22:10 Production Does Not Make Items Admissible
B. Using Requests With Other Discovery Tools
§22:20 No Required Sequence
§22:21 Usually Document Requests Come First
§22:22 Authenticate Documents
§22:23 Identify Documents
§22:24 Follow Up With More Document Requests
C. Steps to Obtain Documents
1. Prepare Requests
a. Form
§22:30 Put Requests in Writing
§22:31 Informal Requests
b. Format
§22:40 Check Local Rules
§22:41 Caption
§22:42 Title
§22:43 Def‌initions Section
§22:44 Instructions Section
§22:45 “Privilege List” Instructions
§22:46 “Time, Place, and Manner” Instructions
§22:47 Signature
§22:48 Certif‌icate of Service
c. Substance
i. General Points
§22:60 Goals and Strategies
§22:61 Consult Client
§22:62 Beware of “Boomerang” Requests
§22:63 Specify by Individual Item or Category
§22:64 Describe With Reasonable Particularity
§22:65 Avoid Compound Requests
§22:66 Individual-Item Requests
ii. By-Category Requests
§22:80 Purpose
§22:81 Too Broad
§22:82 Too Narrow
§22:83 Take the Middle Ground
2. Ser ve and File
§22:90 Earliest Time to Serve
§22:91 Latest Time to Serve
§22:92 Whom, What, and How to Serve
§22:93 Proof of Service
§22:94 No Filing
22-3 Production of Documents and Other Things
3. Track Response
§22:100 Calendar Response Deadline
§22:101 Post-Deadline Action
D. Responding to Request
1. Initial Steps
§22:110 Review Request
§22:111 Calendar Dates and Deadlines
§22:112 Contact Client
§22:113 Contact Opposing Counsel
2. Time to Respond
§22:120 Deadline for Response
§22:121 Checking the Time to Respond
§22:122 Weekends and Holidays
§22:123 Extra Days if Request Served by Mail
§22:124 Service by FAX
§22:125 Court May Shorten or Extend Deadline
§22:126 Stipulation to Change Deadline
3. Dut y To Produce
§22:140 Possession and Control
§22:141 Not in Possession or Control
§22:142 Failure to Produce
§22:143 Documents That Need Not Be Produced
4. Locate, Collec t, and Examine Items
a. General Points
§22:150 Client’s Responsibilities
§22:151 Lawyer’s Responsibilities
§22:152 Educate Client
§22:153 Work With Client
§22:154 Select a “Point Person”
§22:155 Prevent Deliberate Destruction or Alteration
§22:156 Suspend Automatic Destruction Procedures
b. Locate Items
§22:170 Identify Sources
§22:171 Interview Sources
§22:172 Document Files
§22:173 Computer Files and Other Electronic Data
c. Collect Items
§22:180 How
§22:181 Where
§22:182 Client’s Needs
§22:183 File Intake-Log or Computer Database
§22:184 Don’t Reorganize Items
§22:185 Don’t Create Responsive Items
d. Examine Items
§22:190 Look for Conf‌idential Information
§22:191 Segregate Items to Be Withheld
§22:192 Redact Protected Information
§22:193 Computer Files and Other Electronic Data
§22:194 Identify Items Beyond Request’s Scope
§22:195 Segregate Items Beyond Request’s Scope
§22:196 Look for Useful Information
5. The Response
a. General Points
§22:210 Response Required
§22:211 Co-Parties
§22:212 Reply Choices

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