(a) In a dismissal or suspension proceeding initiated pursuant to Section 44934, in lieu of written discovery required pursuant to Section 11507.6 of the Government Code, the parties shall make disclosures as described in this section. This section does not apply to dismissal or suspension proceedings initiated pursuant to Section 44934.1.
(b) (1) An initial disclosure shall comply with the following requirements:
(A) A party shall, without awaiting a discovery request, provide to the other parties both of the following:
(i) The name and, if known, the address and telephone number of each individual likely to have discoverable information, along with the subjects of information relating to the allegations made in the charges and the parties’ claims and defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment purposes.
(ii) A copy of all documents, electronically stored information, and tangible items that the disclosing party has in its possession, custody, or control relating to the allegations made in the charges and the parties’ claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely for impeachment.
(B) The school district and the employee shall make their initial disclosures within 45 days of the date of the employee’s demand for a hearing.
(C) A party shall make its initial disclosures based on the information then reasonably available to it. A party is not excused from making its disclosures because it has not fully investigated the case or because it challenges the sufficiency of another party’s disclosures. A party’s failure to make initial disclosures within the deadlines set forth in this section shall preclude the party from introducing witnesses or evidence not disclosed at the hearing, unless the party shows good cause for its failure to timely disclose.
(D) A party has an obligation to promptly supplement its initial disclosures as new information or evidence becomes known or available. Supplemental disclosures shall be made as soon as possible, and no later than 60 days before the date of commencement of the hearing. A party’s failure to make supplemental disclosures promptly upon discovery or availability of new information or evidence shall preclude the party from introducing witnesses or evidence not disclosed at the hearing, unless the party shows good cause for its failure to timely disclose.
(2) The disclosure of expert testimony shall comply with the following requirements:
(A) A party shall also disclose to the other parties the identities of any expert witnesses whose testimony it may use at the hearing.
(B) The disclosure specified in subparagraph (A) shall be accompanied by a summary of the witness’ expected testimony, including a description of the facts and data considered by the witness; a description of the witness’ qualifications, including a list of all publications authored in the previous 10 years; a list of all other cases in which, during the previous four years, the witness testified as an expert at a hearing or by deposition; and a statement of the compensation to be paid to the expert witness.
(C) Expert witness disclosures shall be made no later than 60 days before the date of commencement of the hearing. A party’s failure to make full and timely expert witness disclosures shall preclude the party’s use of the expert witness’ testimony or evidence at the hearing.
(3) Prehearing disclosures shall comply with the following requirements:
(A) In addition to the disclosures required in paragraphs (1) and (2), a party shall provide to the other parties the following information about the evidence that it may present at the hearing:
(i) The name, and, if not previously provided, the address and telephone number of each witness, separately identifying those the party expects to present and those it may call if the need arises.
(ii) An identification of each exhibit, separately identifying those items the party expects to offer and those it may offer if the need arises.
(B) Prehearing disclosures shall be made at least 30 days before the hearing.
(i) Within 14 days after prehearing disclosures are made, a party shall file and serve any objections, along with the grounds for each objection, to the admissibility of evidence.
(ii) These objections shall be decided on the first day of the hearing, or at a prehearing conference conducted pursuant to Section 11511.5 of the Government Code. Documents and individuals not timely disclosed without good cause shall be precluded from admission at the hearing.
(c) In addition to the disclosures required by subdivision (a), the parties may obtain discovery by oral deposition in California, in accordance with Sections 2025.010 to 2025.620, inclusive, of the Code of Civil Procedure, except as described in this article. The school district may take the depositions of the employee and no more than four other witnesses, and the employee may take depositions of no more than five witnesses. Each witness deposition is limited to seven hours. An administrative law judge may allow the parties to conduct additional depositions only upon a showing of good cause. If a motion to conduct additional depositions is granted by the administrative law judge, the employee shall be given a meaningful opportunity to respond to new evidence introduced as a result of the additional depositions. An order granting a motion for additional depositions shall not constitute an extraordinary circumstance or good cause for purposes of extending the deadlines set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 44944.
(d) If the right to disclosures or oral depositions is denied by either the employee or the governing board, the exclusive right of a party seeking an order compelling production of discovery shall be pursuant to Section 11507.7 of the Government Code. If a party seeks protection from unreasonable or oppressive discovery demands, the exclusive right of a party seeking an order for protection shall be pursuant to Section 11450.30 of the Government Code.
(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 303, Sec. 90. (AB 731) Effective January 1, 2016.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018