What is a Special Master/Discovery Referee?
Discovery referees provide an indispensable service to parties and their counsel in multi-party litigation and cases involving contentious discovery disputes, by serving as a neutral party to aid in the efficient progression of the case, and resolving pre-trial disputes in an unbiased manner. Many courts are severely overburdened with motions, which can often result in long delays between the time a motion is filed and the time a determination is made. Additionally, with a perpetual stream of motions being submitted, it may not be possible for the courts to provide the amount of time the parties may desire for the relevant facts and pertinent legal authority to be fully evaluated before a decision is rendered. A skilled discovery referee can spend the appropriate time needed to review the parties’ briefs, and get it right the first time.
Usually, the referee will recommend a solution to the Court, which the Judge can evaluate, and then determine whether to adopt the referee’s recommendation, resulting in a final ruling. The parties have the choice to provide the referee as much authority as desired, including reaching an agreement to have the referee’s determinations be immediately binding for quicker case progression. The parties can also elect whether they desire to have the referee fees be divided based upon a predetermined allocation, be allocated by the Judge, or have the fees be allocated to the party or parties against whom a motion was brought.
Before agreeing to a discovery referee, it is important to consider whether your neutral fully understands the issues in dispute, is personable, unbiased, and has a keen legal acumen. It is also important to select a neutral knowing that they are capable of managing disputes without injecting themselves into case activities which do not require their participation.
Jason Turner has more than 20 years of litigation experience, and has been involved with hundreds of motion hearings. He carefully reads the documents submitted by the parties, to ensure that he has a genuine understanding of the issues to be determined.
Fees allocated in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the case management order, pre-trial order, or agreement of counsel. Please contact The Law Office of Jason E. Turner, APC for current fee schedule.