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 Which Seeks Admission of a Legal Proposition
One of the main purposes of the discovery process is to allow parties to exchange relevant information about the case. In so doing, the focus of the case becomes more clear, and the strength of each party’s claims becomes evident, making a difficult process less costly and time-consuming. In fact, a thorough discovery process often leads to an out-of-court settlement. Texas Rules of Civil Procedure were written to facilitate the discovery process. At times, however, litigants do not follow these procedures, and when that happens, a responding part may object. One frequent reason for an objection is when one party asks the other to admit a legal proposition, which is the reason for a legal decision or the legal requirement for a decision.
For example, in Cedyco Corp. v. Whitehead, Whitehead requested several questionable admissions from the responding party. Because the responding party did not respond within the required timeframe, all admissions were initially admitted. However, the court later determined that two of the admissions were actually questions of law and were therefore not appropriate requests. Cedyco Corp. v. Whitehead, 253 S.W.3d 877, 880 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2008, pet. denied).
A proper objection might include the following language:
OBJECTION: This request asks the responding party to admit a proposition of law. Esparza v. Diaz, 802 S.W.2d 772, 775 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1990, no writ).
While the rules and expectations are exactly and completely laid out in Texas Rule of Civil Procedure, correctly interpreting and applying those rules can be daunting. Working with a knowledgeable lawyer who is experienced with litigation will ensure the best possible outcome for a client.
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