“Meet and Confer”

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“Meet and Confer”

Meet and Confer is a good faith discussion amongst parties and counsel to resolve an issue prior to being heard in court over the matter.

Meet and Confer is a very important legal concept.  A lot of times, it is important to have an attorney on the other side, and a good attorney is even more important.  This may seen counter-intuitive but I’ll explain why.  Opposing attorney’s have to work together- even in a highly litigious, contentious case, to move the case forward.  Despite their opposing sides opposing counsel need to work together to resolve issues that could be worked out before going in front of the judge.  In fact, this is a mandatory statutory requirement.

For example, it is mandatory for attorney’s to meet and confer before filing a motion to compel in a discovery dispute.  California Code of Civil Procedure Section 2016.040.

The reason for this is because almost all discovery disputes can be worked out and the court’s do not want their time wasted.   When the other side is pro per or an adequate attorney is not on the other side then statutory procedure is normally not followed and this make the job much harder.  If the parties were to appear in front of the judge on a discovery issue before having “met and conferred” then the court could sanction the parties or demand that they spend time on the issue. I’ve had courts order the attorneys to get together in person to meet and confer over issues that were before the judge.  Sometimes, the attorney’s become to argumentative, litigious and contentious and they cannot seem to agree on issues.  At that point, the judge would consider forcing the attorney’s to meet in person to try to work out disputes.

Meet and Confer, in a sense, is a professional discussion amongst counsel.  In the end, attorney’s are officers of the court whose role is to resolve issues, advance cases and present the truth to the court.

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