Like most courts, the District of Maryland requires that attorneys confer regarding a discovery dispute to resolve their differences. Local Rule 104.7 provides that the Court “will not consider” any discovery motion that does not contain a certificate of compliance.
Two amendments have been proposed.
First, instead of a requirement that counsel make “sincere attempts” to resolve the disputes, the proposed amendment would mandate “a reasonable effort” to resolve them.
A “reasonable effort” means more than sending an email or letter to the opposing party. It requires that the parties meet in person or by video or telephonic means for a reasonable period of time in a good faith effort to resolve the disputed matter.
I find it interesting, but likely a distinction without a difference, that the plural of “sincere attempts” has been replaced with the singular of “a reasonable effort.”
In its entirely, Local Rule 104.7, if adopted as proposed, will state:
Counsel shall confer with one another concerning a discovery dispute and make a reasonable effort to resolve the differences between them. The Court will not consider any discovery motion unless the moving party has filed a certificate reciting (a) the date, time, and place of the discovery conference, and the names of all persons participating therein, or (b) counsel’s attempts to hold such a conference without success; and (c) an itemization of the issues requiring resolution by the Court. A “reasonable effort” means more than sending an email or letter to the opposing party. It requires that the parties meet in person or by video or telephonic means for a reasonable period of time in a good faith effort to resolve the disputed matter.