lawyers meeting

If meet-and-confer rules work for discovery motions, why not use them for all dispositive motions?

Before the month of July fades away, I wanted to point to some terrific content in the soon-to-be-not-current Arizona Attorney Magazine.

Today, I point you toward an article that challenges the courts to consider a new approach to non-discovery motions.

In the article, Judge Douglas Gerlach (Superior Court for Maricopa County) and Eugene Cohen begin by describing the benefits that have flowed from Arizona’s revised approach to discovery.

So if Arizona’s legal profession is pleased at what we call “the Zlaket Rules” have done for discovery, why don’t we require meet-and-confer rules of lawyers even beyond discovery?

Here’s how they open their article:

“By rule, many jurisdictions require lawyers to meet-and-confer with their counterparts, and to so certify, before filing a discovery motion. This requirement has not solved all problems that accompany discovery disputes, but it has reduced the frequency and scope of discovery-related litigation, as well as the time and expense associated with those efforts.”

“This article suggests that the adoption of a similar rule for dispositive motions will produce the same benefits. Indeed, the cost-savings for litigants and the reduced burden on the courts will likely be more substantial than the savings that the discovery rule has produced. Because Arizona would be the first jurisdiction to adopt (or at least try) the proposed rule, there are no empirical data to support that conclusion. However, substantial anecdotal support, based on the authors’ professional experience and discussions with others, suggests strongly that the advantages of such an approach far outweigh any drawbacks (if, indeed, there are any drawbacks). At the very least, a pilot program to test the proposal would clearly seem warranted.”

Read the complete article here.

What do you think? Should the courts adopt such a rule? Would it improve law practice? Would it improve your ability to assess a case’s value?