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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27405
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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Civil action: discovery - Can you give me an explanation of

Resolved Question:

Civil action: discovery - Can you give me an explanation of the value in interrogatories and admissions? What would be the best use of them from a defense perspective?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

JD 1992 :

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

JD 1992 :

It's kind of a general question.

JD 1992 :

Interrogatories are usually used to determine what positions the other side is taking in a case.

JD 1992 :

In addition, they can also be used to identify witnesses and evidence.

JD 1992 :

Requests for Admission are used to narrow the issues for trial.

JD 1992 :

Some questions of fact or law may not actually be in dispute and therefore you can used RFAs to get the other side to admit these and they will then be taken as true or not in issue by the court.

Customer:

Taken as true by the court...so, do I have to say so doing trial? During cross? Ask the aame question during cross?

Customer:

during

JD 1992 :

No, the way you usually handle them is to offer them to the court pretrial and ask that the court make those findings.

JD 1992 :

Some courts want you to actually read them into evidence, some want you to offer them into the record, some will just make a finding.

Customer:

You mean in pretrial summaryh, or literally on the day of trial before witnesses are called?

Customer:

bri8ef rather

JD 1992 :

It depends on the court. Most will probably want you to do it the morning of the actual hearing/trial.

Customer:

So interrogatories seem pretty useless. You can't bring any of it up at trial, and the joker answered them in such a general way that there is no way to determine who is who.

Customer:

even though my defs and instructions spelled out detail, he gave none

JD 1992 :

You have to file a Motion to Compel if they are too general. You may want to pick up the e-book on discovery at http://www.lessonsinlaw.com/the-guerrilla-guides-to-the-law/

JD 1992 :

Most of the time either 1) the interrogatories were poorly worded or 2) the court will force them to provide more complete answers if you file a Motion to Compel.

JD 1992 :

Interrogatories are the backbone of discovery and can make or break a case.

Customer:

for example: by defs and inst's he was supposed to provide the name and contact info for all individuals he intwends to call as witness, with description of expected testimony for each. He gave name and address only followed by an all encompassing general description of testify to relavent matters they have knowledge of.

JD 1992 :

You can file a Motion to Compel to get them to give you more info.

Customer:

This compel business is getting rediculous. I just finished one compel cycle that lasted 3 months. Now I have an contempt order submitted.

Customer:

This guy has sandbagged so much, it's unrweal

Customer:

this case is going on 2 years now

Customer:

defemation per se, and I'm the defendant.

JD 1992 :

Is this the attorney or the party?

Customer:

It's like he's sandbagging until the judge finally gets tired of it and rules in his favor or something

Customer:

attorney

JD 1992 :

He likely thinks you will just give up at some point.

Customer:

I originally had an attorney...who asked SEVEN queastions in 1st discovery, none of which was really important. We fired him after he said one thing and did another too many times. I took over pro se and hit the guy with 2nd discovery with pertainant questions and now he's pleading the fifth and dragging his feet even more. It took me 18 months to get evidence he promised in 1st discovery.

JD 1992 :

Unfortunately, you still have to go through the steps of the Motions to Compel, etc. Each sanction gets progressively worse, in theory.

Customer:

Preoblem is the judge is getting tired of this case being on her books. At the last hearing he complained to her about my discovery, she told him to object and she will handle them at the next hearing in october, then he complained about all the motions I've filed and she said no more motions without leave.

JD 1992 :

Set it for trial. That's the easiest way to resolve the issues.

JD 1992 :

Ask her to give a specific date for the trial and for them to have the discovery completed 60 or 90 days before that.

Customer:

Then when she ruled against me concerning suplimenting my answer with truth (which myoriginal genius didn't put in) he says "I think we'rwe about to be rid of this case..;.I'm going tofile a suplement to my SJM since he can't use truth now." She seemed annoyid and told him he could file for leacve.

Customer:

Sorry, this is a small usb keyboard for my tablet...my fingers arwe bigger than the keys.

JD 1992 :

No problem.

JD 1992 :

However, the way to solve most problems is to set it for trial.

Customer:

Anyway...this lawyer is a real piece of work. I will submit for leave to file the compel anyway. I want the answers now, not 2 months from now.

Customer:

Trial is set for Nov 15

JD 1992 :

Not much time left for them to answer then, stress that for the judge.

JD 1992 :

Tell them you'll be ready on that setting so long as you can get your discovery answered.

Customer:

What do you mean? If he sandbaggs long enough he won't have to?

JD 1992 :

He will put it off as long as possible,

Customer:

Does the judge have to continue the case, or does she tell me tuff luck on that discovery?

JD 1992 :

She can refuse to continue the case. It gives you a point on appeal, but she can continue.

Customer:

She said no more continuances, but she said that last time too. I think she means it this time, if it's her choice.

JD 1992 :

If she's getting tired of it, you're probably right.

Customer:

So it isn't likely she will refuse my compel, since I have to be permitted to present a defense, correct
?

JD 1992 :

I think that is mostly correct.

Customer:

mostly??

JD 1992 :

Judges are strange. Some do what's right and some don't.

Customer:

Some of the questions he's evading go directly to the heart of his claim and my defense. Without the answers, my case is a fraction of what it should bwe, although I'm 95% sure I'll win anyway.

JD 1992 :

Slander cases are extremely hard to win so you're in good shape with that alone.

Customer:

libel/slander per se

Customer:

No damages to prove

JD 1992 :

With no damages it is no wonder the lawyer is messing around.

Customer:

So if you are to believe his attorney, he's got it in the bag. He acts as if he has an ace up his sleeve to prove falsity. That makes me a little nervous, because of the lack of discovery. I wonder if he's going toproduce surprise evidence at trial...if he does, it was manufactured, but i won't have time to fdigure out how to prove it

Customer:

What ndo you mean no wonder?

JD 1992 :

Let the judge know your concerns ahead of time and the judge isn't likely to let surprise evidence in.

JD 1992 :

Lawyers sometimes get into cases that look okay when they start but after a while of messing with them they just want out.

Customer:

In a motion? hearing? exparte
?

Customer:

So you think he might be feeling cornered?

JD 1992 :

Do it in a Motion in Limine. Specify that he is not to put forth any evidence that wasn't produced in discovery.

JD 1992 :

Yes, with no damages he probably just wishes it would go away.

JD 1992 :

Plus, most lawyers really don't go trial much and are scared of them.

Customer:

And in the limine, do I say I think plaintiff and his agent arew capable of manufacturing evidence

?

Customer:

Or just ask her to stop any urprises?

JD 1992 :

No, you don't give a reason, just that you don't want anything produced in trial that wasn't provided in discovery.

Customer:

And once she rules, she can't call an audible at trial if he whines enough?

JD 1992 :

Yes, a judge can always change their ruling.

Customer:

Anyway...I've run you way off topic. Sorry about that. Thanks for the hellp though, you'vwe given me alot to chew on.

JD 1992 :

You're welcome.

Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27405
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
Dwayne B. and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.

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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
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Began practicing law in 1992