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LegalEase
LegalEase, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 897
Experience:  Experience in handling divorces, custody issues and child support quandries.
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i AM REPRESENTING MYSELF IN A CUSTODY BATTLE. THE ASSIGNED

Customer Question

i AM REPRESENTING MYSELF IN A CUSTODY BATTLE. THE ASSIGNED g.a.l HAS REPORTED TO THE JUDGE THAT HE IS HAPPY WITH THE JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY THAT i AM SEEKING. sO i HAVE MY DAUGHTER 15 DAYS PER MONTH WHICH IS GREAT BUT WE ARE GOING TO TRIAL IN SEPTEMBER TO ESTABLIISH THE PRIMARY OR RESIDENTIAL CUSTODY.
MY QUESTION PERTAINS TO THE SUBMITTING OF EVIDENCE OR ANSWERING INTERROGATORIES AFTER THE PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE DATE (WHICH WAS LAST MONTH). tHERE WAS A PAPER HANDED DOWN WITH THE TEMPORARY MOTION OR P.D.L. that states "discovery cut-off: all discovery whether by interrogatory, request for admissions, deposition , production of documents or other means shall be completed at least 30 days prior to the mandatory pre-trial conference date."

MY QUESTION IS; SHOULD i BE ANSWERING OPPOSING COUNSEL'S INTERROGATORY REQUESTS SINCE IT IS LATER THAN THE PRE-TRIAL?

CAN i PROPOUND INTERROGATORIES TO HER?

WHAT IS THE DANGER IN LISTING ALL OF YOUR WITNESSES IN THE ANSWER TO INTERROGATORIES?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalEase replied 7 years ago.
If the deadline for response has passed and they sent you the interrogatories after the deadline, then you don't have to respond. Let opposing counsel try to explain to the Judge why they sent interrogatories late. If it is after the deadline, then you may not propound any more discovery yourself, unless the Judge extends the deadlines for all parties.

You must list all witnesses if you intend to answer the discovery. Discovery is the way that suprises are eliminated in the court room. All witnesses must be disclosed so every party can prepare to question the witness or find a counter-witness. Of course, the problem in outlining every witness is that the other side can then prepare to refute the witnesses you are presenting. However, since both sides have equal opportunity to ask the questions of witnesses, the playing field is leveled.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
so is he doing this just to see if I will divulge any "free" information? is there some type of ruling that I dont know about? what danger do I fall into if I fail to answer the interrogatories?
Expert:  LegalEase replied 7 years ago.
Yes, they are probably trying to trip you up. If you have read the paperwork and it states what you stated in your initial question, that all discovery was to be completed by the date of the pre-trial, then you are within the right to not answer.

If you don't answer, and the other attorney thinks you should have answered, they will file a motion to compel an answer and a hearing will have to be held. At most, you would be given the chance to explain that your basis for refusing to answer was on the fact that you thought the deadline had passed. If the Judge thinks you should have answered, then you will be ordered to answer. In that case, I would ask the Judge to extend the deadling to both parties. So you're not in so much danger unless a Judge orders you to answer and you fail to do that.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

So if the deadline is passed and the rule is what it is, then I do not have to disclose to the other side what witnesses i intend to call? can i still call anyone without an objection sticking/being sustained? The truth works for me in this matter so i guess it doesn't really matter or does it?

 

Expert:  LegalEase replied 7 years ago.
More than likely yes, but it'll depend on the Judge's ruling and frame of mind. The burden is on the opposing counsel to force you to respond if they can. I would just sit tight and see what happens.