James C. Powers


Over 30 years of broad experience particularly in real estate law and complex business litigation.

James C. Powers

Attorney at Law
Los Angeles, California

Experienced, Effective Discovery Referee


Jim Powers has had extensive experience with all forms of discovery. He wrote Use and Abuse of Interrogatories for a CEB program on discovery and is the author of A Guide to Interrogatories in California Practice, 48 Southern California Law Review 1221 (1975). He has lectured on discovery in CEB programs and other forums.

He was a member of a California State Bar special committee formed to propose improvements to California discovery law. Jim Powers has long had a great interest in discovery and has had extensive experience in propounding and responding to discovery, discovery motions, and appellate writ practice involving review of trial court discovery orders.

Amazing as it may seem, he actually enjoys discovery issues. Most judges try to avoid deciding discovery disputes. He has the patience to carefully work through discovery requests and responses and the arguments pro and con in ruling on discovery motions. He is well aware of the importance of discovery and of the necessity of obtaining information from an adversary that is often obtainable only by discovery. On the other hand, he knows now how burdensome discovery can be. It is usually a burden to respond to proper and necessary discovery requests, but discovery is often used as a weapon simply to create burdens for an adversary. The job of a discovery referee is to know the difference, and his extensive background in discovery makes him very well qualified to do so.

A discovery referee can greatly simplify the discovery process, particularly in highly contentious lawsuits. The recent reductions in court funding, which result in greater judicial workloads and lengthy delays in getting motions heard, make discovery referees even more valuable, as discussed in his recent Daily Journal article:
Court Cutbacks Highlight Utility of Discovery Referees