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
tions of PrivilegeObjection to Improper Request of Persons with Knowledge of Relevant Facts
Moving forward through the discovery process requires that each party shares information as requested in order to reach a quick and fair resolution to the conflict. With that goal in mind, the assumption is that both parties will share all information as requested in accordance with the Texas Rule of Civil Procedure. At times, however, requests do not follow those rules, allowing the responding party to object to those requests. If, for example, a party requests “knowledge of a person ‘with knowledge of any relevant facts,’” that request is considered by the Texas Supreme Court to be inappropriate and therefore objectionable. In re Certain Underwriters, 294 S.W.3d at 903. Instead, the party should depose anyone who has knowledge of pertinent information, thereby evaluating fully and accurately the extent of a particular person’s knowledge of relevant information.
A proper objection might include the following language:
OBJECTION: Objection is made to this Request to the extent that the requesting party is asking the responding party to specify the knowledge of a person “with knowledge of any relevant facts,” which request is improper. Housing Authority of El Paso v. Rodriguez-Yepez, 843 S.W.2d 475 (Tex. 1992).
The discovery process can be long and difficult, and objections can further slow the process. While Texas Rules of Civil Procedure provide exact expectations about what information is permissible and the exact format, the procedures are complex and change often. Working with a lawyer knowledgeable and experienced in litigation will help to reduce the anxiety of litigation and ensure the best possible outcome for the client.
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