In Chicago, Judge Milton I. Shadur is a senior district judge and something of a legend. He's very smart, and not bound by convention. So, note below his ruling that requests to admit are NOT discovery and can be served after a discovery cut-off. The excerpts below are from a column by Steve Garmisa - he too is darn near a legend, as a practicing lawyer having written for years a highly-regarded column on law for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
"Two weeks after U.S. District Judge Milton I. Shadur issued a ruling that referred to "the time before Noah's flood" when he was "still in the private practice of law," Inland Mortgage Capital v. Chivas Retail Partners, No. 11 C 6482 (Jan. 24, 2012), the judge encountered what he called a "highly unusual" issue that was "perhaps even unique in this court's long tenure on the bench."
The unusual question was whether Shawn Kelly could send a request to admit McGraw-Hill Cos., under Rule 36 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, after the discovery cutoff.
Discovery closed in Kelly's case against McGraw-Hill on Nov. 17, 2011 — but two months later, Kelly served defense counsel with requests to admit facts and the genuineness of documents.
Objecting, McGraw-Hill argued that Kelly's request to admit should have been served at least 30 days before the discovery cutoff.
After looking at the issue "in depth rather than in purely surface terms," Shadur concluded that "Kelly's position is right and McGraw–Hill's is wrong." Kelly v. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. No. 10 C 4229 (N.D.Ill.) (Feb. 7, 2012)."