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Rule 192.5. Work Product (1999)


(a) Work product defined. Work product comprises:

(1) material prepared or mental impressions developed in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for a party or a party's representatives, including the party's attorneys, consultants, sureties, indemnitors, insurers, employees, or agents; or

(2) a communication made in anticipation of litigation or for trial between a party and the party's representatives or among a party's representatives, including the party's attorneys, consultants, sureties, indemnitors, insurers, employees, or agents.

(b) Protection of work product.

(1) Protection of core work product attorney mental processes. Core work product - the work product of an attorney or an attorney's representative that contains the attorney's or the attorney's representative's mental impressions, opinions, con­clusions, or legal theories - is not discoverable.

(2) Protection of other work product. Any other work product is discoverable only upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials in the preparation of the party's case and that the party is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the material by other means.

(3) Incidental disclosure of attorney mental processes. It is not a violation of subparagraph (1) if disclosure ordered pursuant to subparagraph (2) incidentally discloses by inference attorney mental processes otherwise protected under subparagraph (1).

(4) Limiting disclosure of mental processes. If a court orders discovery of work product pursuant to subparagraph (2), the court must - insofar as possible - protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, opinions, conclusions, or legal theories not otherwise discoverable.

(c) Exceptions. Even if made or prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial, the following is not work product protected from discovery:

(1) information discoverable under Rule 192.3 con­cerning experts, trial witnesses, witness statements, and contentions;

(2) trial exhibits ordered disclosed under Rule 166 or Rule 190.4;

(3) the name, address, and telephone number of any potential party or any person with knowledge of relevant facts;

(4) any photograph or electronic image of underlying facts (e.g., a photograph of the accident scene) or a photograph or electronic image of any sort that a party intends to offer into evidence; and

(5) any work product created under circumstances within an exception to the attorney-client privilege in Rule 503(d) of the Rules of Evidence.

(d) Privilege. For purposes of these rules, an assertion that material or information is work product is an assertion of privilege.

Amended by order of Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
Aug. 4, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.  

Notes and Comments

Comments to 1999 change:

1. While the scope of discovery is quite broad, it is nevertheless confined by the subject matter of the case and reasonable expectations of obtaining information that will aid resolution of the dispute. The rule must be read and applied in that context. See In re American Optical Corp., __ S.W. 2d __ (Tex. 1998) (per curiam); K-Mart v. Sanderson, 937 S.W.2d 429 (Tex. 1996) (per curiam); Dillard Dept. Stores v. Hall, 909 S.W.2d 491 (Tex. 1995) (per curiam); Texaco, Inc. v. Sanderson, 898 S.W.2d 813 (Tex. 1995) (per curiam); Loftin v. Martin, 776 S.W.2d 145,148 (Tex. 1989).

2. The definition of documents and tangible things has been revised to clarify that things relevant to the subject matter of the action are within the scope of discovery regardless of their form.

3. Rule 192.3(c) makes discoverable a "brief statement of each identified person's connection with the case." This provision does not contemplate a narrative statement of the facts the person knows, but at most a few words describing the per­son's identity as relevant to the lawsuit. For instance: "treating physician," "eyewitness," "chief financial officer," "director," "plaintiff's mother and eyewitness to accident." The rule is intended to be consistent with Axelson v. McIlhany, 798 S.W. 2d 550 (Tex. 1990).

4. Rule 192.3(g) does not suggest that settlement agreements in other cases are relevant or irrelevant.

5. Rule 192.3(j) makes a party's legal and factual con­tentions discoverable but does not require more than a basic statement of those contentions and does not require a mar­shaling of evidence.

6. The sections in former Rule 166b concerning land and medical records are not included in this rule. They remain within the scope of discovery and are discussed in other rules.

7. The court's power to limit discovery based on the needs and circumstances of the case is expressly stated in Rule 192.4. The provision is taken from Rule 26(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Courts should limit discovery under this rule only to prevent unwarranted delay and expense as stated more fully in the rule. A court abuses its discretion in unreasonably restricting a party's access to information through discovery.

8. Work product is defined for the first time, and its exceptions stated. Work product replaces the "attorney work product" and "party communication" discovery exemptions from former Rule 166b.

9. Elimination of the "witness statement" exemption does not render all witness statements automatically discoverable but subjects them to the same rules concerning the scope of discovery and privileges applicable to other documents or tangible things.