When John R. Foley is appointed to coordinate the discovery process and flow of information in a case, and make decisions regarding disclosure and production.
In the broadest sense, a special master is generally a subordinate official appointed by a judge to make sure that judicial orders are actually followed and/or to hear evidence on behalf of the judge and make recommendations to the judge as to the disposition of a matter. A subset of special master is a discovery master. A discovery master is appointed by the court to oversee the discovery process in contentious cases, minimizing the number of the discovery disputes that lawyers need bring to the court, and working to ensure full and fair disclosure of information and compliance with lawfully issued discovery requests. As a special master, John R. Foley’s role is to supervise those falling under the order of the court to ensure that the court order is being followed and to report on the activities of the entity being supervised in a timely matter to the judge or the judge's designated representatives.