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 to a Request That Negates Personal Constitutional or Property Rights
An important goal of the discovery process is to exchange evidence and information in order to determine the strength and scope of each party’s case. Because of that goal, the expectation is that any request from a party will be fulfilled by the other party. However, Texas Rules for Civil Procedure offer precise directives about what defines the content and format of a permissible request. Failing to follow those directives allows the responding party to object to a request unless and until it is reframed and resubmitted in accordance with the statutes. A responding party has a right to object to a request, for example, if that request is for protected information.
A proper objection might include the following language:
OBJECTION: This request is objectionable as it invades the personal, constitutional or property rights of the responding party. TEX. R. CIV. P. 192.6(b); Hoffman v. 5th Ct. of Appeals, 756 S.W.2d 723 (Tex. 1988).
Knowing whether information qualifies as privileged is important to the success of a case, as is understanding which requests are objectionable and why. A lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable about Texas statutes will help a client successfully navigate the complexities of litigation and obtain the best possible outcome.
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