Store Research

Assembly Bill 169 (Harris 1986)

Chapter 1334, Statutes of 1986 AB 169

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The California Civil Discovery Act was enacted in 1986 following legislative passage of Assembly Bill 169  (See Exhibit #1g)  Assembly member Elihu M. Harris introduced Assembly Bill 169 on January 2, 1985, which embodied the work product and recommendations of the State Bar’s Commission on Discovery.  (See Exhibits #1a, #3, and #7)  One purpose of Assembly Bill 169 was to bring California law closer to conformity to the discovery provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  (See Exhibit #7b, page 9)


After its introduction, the Assembly and Senate Committees on Judiciary considered the policy issues raised by the bill.  (See Exhibits #2, #3 and #7)  The bill was amended five times during the legislative process.  (See Exhibits #1b through #1f and #2)  Assembly Bill 169 was approved by the Legislature on August 29, 1986, signed by Governor George Deukmejian on September 28, 1986, and recorded by the Secretary of State on September 29, 1986 as Chapter 1334 of the Statutes of 1986.  (See Exhibits #1g and #2)


The Senate Committee on Judiciary analysis described Assembly Bill 169 as follows:


According to proponents, this bill and its companion - AB 1334 (Harris) - would thoroughly rewrite the California civil discovery law.  Existing statutes would be repealed and replaced by new ones.  In general, the revisions would bring California closer to the discovery provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(Exhibit #7b, page 9)


The Concurrence in Senate Amendments analysis of Assembly Bill 169 as last amended on August 25, 1996, that was prepared by the Assembly Committee on Judiciary outlined the changes in the law proposed by the legislation. (See generally, Exhibit #11b)  The “Comments” section of the analysis provided, in part:


2)      This bill proposes a comprehensive revision of the civil discovery system in California.  It incorporates existing law and procedures, statutorily recognizes case law which interpreted existing statutory law and makes both major and minor changes in the law relative to civil discovery.  According the [sic] the author, the Senate amendments were the result of negotiations with various interest groups including representatives from the trial bar, insurance industry, and members of the bench.  The amendments are aimed at resolving problems raised by these groups.

(See Exhibit #11b, page 3)