Convinced that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is in a better bill-signing mood these days, Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D–Santa Rosa, has reintroduced legislation that would enact long-sought electronic discovery rules in California’s courts.Assembly Bill 5 –- “I tried to get AB 1 but I guess I wasn’t fast enough,” Evans said -– is nearly identical to AB 926, which Schwarzenegger vetoed in September along with hundreds of other bills. His explanation for many of the vetoes was the same: “The historic delay in passing the 2008-2009 state budget has forced me to prioritize the bills sent to my desk at the end of the year's legislative session," Schwarzenegger wrote. "Given the delay, I am only signing bills that are the highest priority for California. This bill does not meet that standard.”
Evans accused the governor of nixing the bill in a “temper tantrum” of anger against lawmakers. The relationship has apparently calmed down a bit.
Why Evans is optimistic, after the jump.
“As far as we know he has no substantive objection to it whatsoever,” Evans said this week.
AB 5 generally mirrors federal legislation enacted in December 2006 and spells out how, when and in what form litigants must exchange electronically stored information. The new rules would also set up procedures for settling disputes over data that one party contends are trade secrets or privileged attorney work-products.
AB 926 was the product of months of negotiations among defense counsel, plaintiff attorneys and the Judicial Council. Everyone is still on board with AB 5, Evans said. The only change to AB 5 is the addition of an urgency clause, which would allow the bill to take effect immediately instead of waiting until Jan. 1, 2010.
That’s assuming, of course, that the governor signs the bill this time.
— Cheryl Miller