For those who haven't seen it before, lawyers at Susman & Godfrey have put together a useful list of pre-discovery agreements that counsel for both parties may want to consider addressing and agreeing upon at the outset of litigation. It can be found in Section 55:19 in the attached document, starting at page 20.
The protocol generally seeks to make life easier for both sides. It includes a number of ideas that sound simple and like common sense, but often don't happen, such as:
"As to any discovery dispute, the lead lawyers will try to resolve it by email and phone, and no one will write letters to the other: just email and phone calls."
"All papers will be served on the opposing party by email."
Other ideas may not work in every case, but in certain litigation may make a lot of sense as means to keep everyone better organized and on the same page:
"All deposition exhibits will be numbered sequentially (Ex. 1, Ex. 2, etc.) regardless of the identity of the deponent or the side introducing the exhibit, and the same numbers will be used in pretrial motions and at trial."
"Depositions will be taken by agreement, with both sides alternating and trying in advance to agree upon the dates for depositions, even before the deponents are identified."
"Documents that the other side claims are privileged can be snapped back as soon as it is discovered they were produced without any need to show the production was inadvertent or that the documents are privileged."
"The parties will prepare and provide a notebook for the court and each juror. The notebook may contain a cast of characters, a list of witnesses (and their photos), a time-line, a glossary, dispositive documents, and blank paper for jurors' personal notes. The parties will do their best to reach agreement on the contents of each item in the notebook."
As they point out, sometimes there suggestions will benefit one side over the other, but on balance both sides will probably end up in the same boat. As they say, "Don't be greedy."
It's a point well taken.