CEB has republished my article Excessive Interrogatories Violate the Rules of Civility, Appellate Court Says at their website as, "The Risks of Serving Too Many Interrogatories".
The article is about two important but subtle rules of civil discovery in Estate of Huang (D2d4 Aug. 17, 2021) no. B307671 (nonpub. opn.). The first is that you cannot submit the same interrogatory twice: if you don't like the answer (or lack of an answer) you got the first time, you had better move to compel — do not ask the question again. The second is, if you are going to ask a lot of questions (here, 723 of them), you had better be sure they are necessary. Here, they were found to violate the local rules of civility.
Bonus Appellate Tip: Carefully consider your requests for sanctions. If you win a discovery dispute and are awarded sanctions over $5,000, your order is now immediately appealable. Which, in this case, reversed the discovery victory.
“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”
— James Madison, Federalist 62
"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."
— Plato (427-347 B.C.)
"So far as the beginnings of law had theories, the first theory of liability was in terms of a duty to buy off the vengeance of him to whom an injury had been done whether by oneself or by something in one's power. The idea is put strikingly in the Anglo-Saxon legal proverb, 'Buy spear from side or bear it,' that is, buy off the feud or fight it out."
— Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law
"Upon putting laws into writing, they became even harder to change than before, and a hundred legal fictions rose to reconcile them with reality."
— Will Durant
"It may be that the court is thought to be excessively legalistic. I should be sorry to think that it is anything else."
— Hon. Sir Owen Dixon, Chief Justice of Australia
"At common law, barratry was 'the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up suits and quarrels' (4 Blackstone, Commentaries 134) and was punished as a misdemeanor."
— Rubin v. Green (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1187
"A judge is a law student who grades his own papers."
— H.L. Mencken
"Moot points have to be settled somehow, once they get thrust upon us. If an assertion cannot be proved, then it must be settled some other way, and nearly all of these ways are unfair to somebody."
—T.H. White, The Once and Future King
"God made the angels to show Him splendor, … Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind."
— Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons
Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly.