Discovery Pleadings – An Overview

Too often, the first time someone learns about a discovery tool is when they have to respond.  I thought I would list some of the more common tools and a brief explanation.  This is by no means exhaustive, but I hope it helps!

Requests for Disclosures
This is the one discovery request that cannot be objected to and provides basic information like potential witnesses, any experts, general legal theories and factual basis for them.  Texas Rule of Civil Procedure (TRCP) 194.

Requests for Admissions
These are a lists of questions that can only be answered as admitted, denied, or in limited circumstances, explaining the reason that the responding party cannot admit or deny the question. Some attorneys use these to set the evidentiary foundations of documents or see what facts are really at issue. TRCP 198.

Requests for Production and Inspection
This pleading is used to get documents, videos, recordings or other pieces of tangible evidence.  TRCP 196.

Written Interrogatories
These are a very limited number of questions a party must respond to. Be careful with these. One you reach the limit (25 normally) the other party does not have to answer any more.  TRCP 197.

Depositions
Formal question and answer sessions where your attorney asks questions of the other party or the other party’s attorney asks questions of you. Very useful, but expensive, and you get a limited number of hours.  Most attorneys like other discovery to be done first so they can ask questions to fill in the gaps and solidify their side of the case.  TRCP 199.

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