The focus of this series is the various issues which cause objections during the discovery process, outlined below:
Permissibility of Discovery Tool
Number of Interrogatories
Outside the Scope of Discovery
Lacks Specific Description within Request
Vagueness, Lacks Specificity, or Ambiguity of Request
Information Obtainable from Another Source
Information Equally Available to the Other Party
Documents Already Produced
Request Creates Unnecessary Burden, Expense, or Made for Purposes of Harassment
Creation of Document not in Existence
Electronic and Magnetic Data
Personal, Constitutional or Property Rights
Inconvenient Time or Place
Information Unknown or Not in Possession of Responding Party
Persons with Knowledge of Relevant Facts
Request Seeks Admission of a Legal Proposition
Seeks Admission of Hearsay
Seeks Admission of a Matter of Opinion
Assertions of Privilege
Objection Because Documents Have Already Been Produced
During the discovery process, each party may request relevant information from the other in order to clarify the focus, scope, and strength of a case. The parties are expected to comply with the requests to ensure full disclosure of pertinent evidence. However, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure offer guidelines which parties must comply with, and failing to do so may result in an objection from the responding party. One error which frequently leads to an objection is a request for information that is duplicative, meaning that the information has already been provided, perhaps in a different format. This objection originated in a case where a request for tax returns to determine the net worth of a company was found to be duplicative. See Sears, Roebuck & Co., 824 S.W.2d at 559.
A proper objection might include the following language:
OBJECTION: This request is duplicative as the information has already been produced in a different form. Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Ramirez, 824 S.W.2d 558, 559 (Tex. 1992).
The discovery process is essential to assessing the strength of claims in a Texas lawsuit. The process is an arduous one, however, fraught with complicated rules and procedures. A lawyer experienced in litigation will help his or her client to navigate this difficult path, avoiding mistakes which might lead to objections while ensuring the best possible outcome for the client.
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