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Larson on Employment Discrimination
Copyright 2016, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

4-79 Larson on Employment Discrimination 79.syn


Pre-Trial Procedures


Lex K. Larson, Esq.

Chapter Summary


Federal Judges are given broad discretion to govern the discovery process in Title VII cases, although privacy rights may be asserted in some instances to limit discovery of employers, employees, or the EEOC. This chapter, from Larson on Employment Discrimination (Matthew Bender), addresses pre-trial discovery issues, and in addition discusses appointment of counsel, consolidation proceedings, and pre-trial motions.

The bulk of discovery problems in Title VII cases concern discovery from the employer, because the employer retains the employment records. To facilitate discovery, the court may order the employer to preserve employment records and other materials. An employer's hiring and wage policies and records are subject to discovery, as are employment histories, and termination policies, and affirmative action plans. However, the work product rule and attorney-client privilege rules may be asserted to limit the scope of discovery, and discovery is limited to matters relevant to the complaint and must not be unduly broad and burdensome. EEOC investigative files are subject to the normal rules of disclosure after a complaint has been filed, although the chapter discusses how the statutory bar may limit the scope of discovery. An employee's employment record may also be privileged.

A Title VII plaintiff wishing to obtain appointed counsel must show indigence, must possess a meritorious claim, and must have made a reasonable effort to secure private counsel. The chapter discusses constitutional challenges to the provision for appointment of council, and further discusses the factual determination of indigence, the weight given to the EEOC's determination of "no reasonable cause" in the consideration of whether a claim is meritorious, and what constitutes a "reasonable" or good faith effort to obtain counsel.

A court has wide discretion in determining whether to grant a motion for consolidation, however the moving party must show the consolidation will serve the convenience of parties and witnesses, and will promote the efficient conduct of the action, and the chapter reviews case law on determining whether there is sufficient identity of common questions to allow consolidation. As in trials of other matters, parties in Title VII actions may make a variety of motions, including motion for summary judgment, and the chapter explains when it will be properly granted.

Larson on Employment Discrimination (Matthew Bender) provides complete analysis of all major federal anti-discrimination statutes, which bar employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, and disability. Larson's also includes extensive appendices containing the current version of all major federal anti-discrimination statutes (including Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act). In addition, the treatise contains practice forms covering all phases of discrimination litigation, including EEOC proceedings, settlement, summary disposition, and jury instructions.


Employment discrimination,Title VII discovery,Title VII pre-trial procedures,Title VII appointment of counsel,Title VII consolidation proceedings,Title VII pre-trial motions


For an overview of Title VII, see Chapter 3, Title VII Summarized.

For discussion of discovery prior to filing of a complaint, see Chapter 73, EEOC Procedures Following the Filing of a Charge.

For discussion of the effect of a request for counsel on time limits, see Chapter 74, Proceeding to Court.

For discussion of when a request for counsel may serve as a complaint, see Chapter 76, Introduction to Court Procedures; the Complaint.


For a definitive and complete guide to labor and employment law written by authorities in the field of labor and employment, such as Lex Larson, Peter Lareau, and Jonathan Mook, see Labor and Employment Law (Matthew Bender).

For review of employment policies and practices unique to corporate counsel, model procedures and policies, and coverage of topics including discrimination, hiring and firing issues, investigations, EEOC mediation, and record retention see Corporate Counsel Solutions: Employment Policies and Practices (Matthew Bender).

For a comprehensive, up-to-date treatise analyzing every aspect of civil rights and including tried-and-true practice forms, for matters relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act, employment discrimination, age discrimination, privacy issues, property rights, fair housing, prisoners' rights, and voting rights,see Civil Rights Actions (Matthew Bender).

For comprehensive coverage of the most explosive issues in labor law today, including an "Employee Relations Guide" detailing preventative practices, and a practice appendix with forms and checklists, see Unjust Dismissal (Matthew Bender).
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