1. The misuse of the pretrial discovery process, especially by making overbroad requests for information that is unnecessary or beyond the scope of permissible disclosure or by conducting discovery for an improper purpose. — aka abusive discovery. 
Excerpt Charles Alan Wright’s The Law of Federal Courts (5th ed. 1994):
“The term ‘discovery abuse’ has been used as if it were a single concept, but it includes several different things. Thus, it is useful to subdivide ‘abuse’ into ‘misuse’ and ‘overuse.’ What is referred to as ‘misuse’ would include not only direct violation of the rules, as by failing to respond to a discovery request within the stated time limit, but also more subtle attempts to harass or obstruct an opponent, as by giving obviously inadequate answers or by requesting information that clearly is outside the scope of discovery. By ‘overuse’ is meant asking for more discovery than is necessary or appropriate to the particular case. ‘Overuse,’ in turn, can be subdivided into problems of ‘depth’ and of ‘breadth,’ with ‘depth’ referring to discovery that may be relevant but is simply excessive and ‘breadth’ referring to discovery requests that go into matters too far removed from the case.” 
2. The failure to respond adequately to proper discovery requests. — aka abuse of discovery. 
- sanctions tort – a means of recovery for another party’s discovery abuse, whereby the judge orders the abusive party to pay a fine to the injured party for the discovery violation.
(for criminal and civil cases):
pretrial discovery (criminal) – conducted before trial to reveal facts, develop evidence and prevent parties from surprising each other at trial.
pretrial discovery (civil) – conducted before trial to reveal facts, develop evidence and prevent parties from surprising each other at trial.
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: Charles Alan Wright’s The Law of Federal Courts 5 81, at 580 (5th ed. 1994).
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