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Rule 166b. Forms and Scope of Discovery; Protective Orders and Supplementation of Responses (1984)
1. Forms of Discovery. Permissible forms of discovery are (a) oral or written depositions of any party or non-party, (b) written interrogatories to a party, (c) requests of a party for admission of facts and the genuineness or identity of documents or things, (d) requests and motions for production, examination, and copying of documents or other tangible materials, (e) requests and motions for entry upon and examination of real property and (f) motions for a mental or physical examination of a party or person under the legal control of a party.
2. Scope of Discovery. Except as provided in paragraph 3 of this rule, unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with these rules, the scope of discovery is as follows:
a. In General. Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter which is relevant to the subject matter in the pending action whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or the claim or defense of any other party. It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. It is also not ground for objection that an interrogatory propounded pursuant to Rule 168 involves an opinion or contention that relates to fact or the application of law to fact, but the court may order that such an interrogatory need not be answered until after designated discovery has been completed or until a pretrial conference or other later time. It is also not ground for objection that a request for admission propounded pursuant to Rule 169 relates to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law to fact or mixed questions of law and fact or that the documents referred to in a request may not be admissible at trial.
b. Documents and Tangible Things. A party may obtain discovery of the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, location and contents of any and all documents, (including papers, books, accounts, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, electronic or videotape recordings, and any other data compilations from which information can be obtained and translated, if necessary, by the person from whom production is sought, into reasonably usable form) and any other tangible things which constitute or contain matters relevant to the subject matter in the action. A person is not required to produce a document or tangible thing unless it is within the person’s possession, custody or control. Possession, custody or control includes constructive possession such that the person need not have actual physical possession. As long as the person has a superior right to compel the production from a third party (including an agency, authority or representative), the person has possession, custody or control.
c. Land. A party may obtain a right of entry upon designated land or other property in the possession or control of a person upon whom a request or motion to produce is served when the designated land or other property is relevant to the subject matter in the action for the purpose of inspection and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon. If a person has a superior right to compel a third person to permit entry, the person with the right has possession or control.
d. Potential Parties and Witnesses. A party may obtain discovery of the identity and location (name, address and telephone number) of any potential party and of persons having knowledge of relevant facts. A person has knowledge of relevant facts when he or she has or may have knowledge of any discoverable matter. The information need not be admissible in order to satisfy the requirements of this subsection and personal knowledge is not required.
e. Experts and Reports of Experts. Discovery of the facts known, mental impressions and opinions of experts, otherwise discoverable because the information is relevant to the subject matter in the pending action but which was acquired or developed in anticipation of litigation and the discovery of the identity of experts from whom the information may be learned may be obtained only as follows:
(1) In General. A party may obtain discovery of the identity and location (name, address and telephone number) of an expert who may be called as a witness, the subject matter on which the witness is expected to testify, the mental impressions and opinions held by the expert and the facts known to the expert (regardless of when the factual information was acquired) which relate to or form the basis of the mental impressions and opinions held by the expert. The disclosure of the same information concerning an expert used for consultation and who is not expected to be called as a witness at trial is required if the expert's work product forms a basis either in whole or in part of the opinions of an expert who is to be called as a witness.
(2) Reports. A party may also obtain discovery of documents and tangible things including all tangible reports, physical models, compilations of data and other material prepared by an expert or for an expert in anticipation of the expert's trial and deposition testimony. The disclosure of material prepared by an expert used for consultation is required even if it was prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial when it forms a basis either in whole or in part of the opinions of an expert who is to be called as a witness.
(3) Determination of Status. The trial judge has discretion to compel a party to make the determination and disclosure of whether an expert may be called to testify within a reasonable and specific time before the date of trial.
(4) Reduction of Report to Tangible Form. If the discoverable factual observations, tests, supporting data, calculations, photographs, or opinions of an expert who will be called as a witness have not been recorded and reduced to tangible form, the trial judge may order these matters reduced to tangible form and produced within a reasonable time before the date of trial.
f. Indemnity, Insuring and Settlement Agreements. A party may obtain discovery of the following:
(1) The existence and contents of any insurance agreement under which any person carrying on an insurance business may be liable to satisfy part or all of a judgment which may be rendered in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment. Information concerning the insurance agreement is not by reason of disclosure admissible in evidence at trial. For purposes of this paragraph, an application for insurance shall not be treated as part of an insurance agreement.
(2) The existence and contents of any settlement agreement. Information concerning the settlement agreement is not by reason of disclosure admissible in evidence at trial.
g. Statements. Any person, whether or not a party, shall be entitled to obtain, upon written request, his own statement previously made concerning the subject matter of a lawsuit, which is in the possession, custody, or control of any party. For the purpose of this paragraph, a statement previously made is (a) a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it, and (b) a stenographic, mechanical, electrical or other type of recording, or any transcription thereof which is a substantially verbatim recital of a statement made by the person and contemporaneously recorded.
h. Medical Records; Medical Authorization. Any party alleging physical or mental injury and damages arising from the occurrence which is the subject of the case shall be required, upon written request, to produce, or furnish an authorization permitting the full disclosure of, medical records not theretofore furnished to the requesting party which are reasonably related to the injury or damages asserted. Copies of all medical records, reports, x-rays or other documentation obtained by virtue of an authorization furnished in response, shall be furnished by the requesting party, without charge, to the party who furnished the authorization in response to the request and copies of all medical records, reports, x-rays or other documentation obtained by virtue of the written request or by virtue of the authorization shall be made available by the requesting party for inspection and photographing and/ or copying to all parties to the action under reasonable terms and conditions. If such information, so obtained, is to be used or offered in evidence upon trial, it shall be furnished by the requesting party to the party who furnished the authorization and made available for inspection by all parties not less than thirty (30) days prior to trial, except as may be excused by a showing of good cause. The mailing of written notice by the requesting party that he has obtained medical records, reports, x-rays or other documentation by virtue of the written request or by virtue of an authorization furnished in response constitutes making them available if the mailing is done thirty (30) days prior to trial and if it prescribes reasonable terms and conditions for inspection of them.
3. Exemptions. The following matters are not discoverable:
a. the work product of an attorney;
b. the written statements of potential witnesses and parties, except that any person, whether a party or not, shall be entitled to obtain, upon request, a copy of a statement he has previously made concerning the action or its subject matter and which is in the possession, custody or control of any party;
c. the identity, metal impressions and opinions of an expert who has been informally consulted or of an expert who has been retained or specially employed by another party in anticipation of litigation or preparation for trial or any documents or tangible things containing such information if the expert will not be called as a witness, except that the identity, mental impressions and opinions of an expert who will not be called to testify and any documents or tangible things containing such impressions and opinions are discoverable if the expert's work product forms a basis either in whole or in part of the opinions of an expert who will be called as a witness;
d. with the exception of discoverable communications prepared by or for experts, any communication passing between agent or representatives or the employees of any party to the action or communications between any party and his agents, representatives or their employees, where made subsequent to the occurrence or transaction upon which the suit is based, and made in connection with the prosecution, investigation or defense of the claim or the investigation of the occurrence or transaction out of which the claim has arisen; and
e. any matter protected from disclosure by privilege.
Nothing in this paragraph 3 shall be construed to render non-discoverable the identity and location of any potential party, any person having knowledge of relevant facts, any expert who is expected to be called as a witness in the action, or of any consulting expert whose opinions or impressions have been relied upon by a testifying expert.
4. Protective Orders. On motion specifying the grounds and made by any person against or from whom discovery is sought under these rules, the court may make any order in the interest of justice necessary to protect the movant from undue burden, unnecessary expense, harassment or annoyance, or invasion of personal, constitutional, or property rights. Specifically, the court's authority as to such orders extends to, although it is not necessarily limited by, any of the following:
a. ordering that requested discovery not be sought in whole or in part, or that the extent or subject matter of discovery be limited, or that it not be undertaken at the time or place specified.
b. ordering that the discovery be undertaken only by such method or upon such terms and conditions or at the time and place directed by the court.
c. ordering that results of discovery be sealed or otherwise adequately protected; that its distribution be limited; or that its disclosure be restricted.
5. Duty to Supplement. A party who has responded to a request for discovery that was correct and complete when made is under no duty to supplement his response to include information thereafter acquired, except the following shall be supplemented not less than thirty days prior to the beginning of trial unless the court finds that a good cause exists for permitting or requiring later supplementation.
a. A party is under a duty seasonably to supplement his response if he obtains information upon the basis of which:
(1) he knows that the response was incorrect or incomplete when made;
(2) he knows that the response though correct and complete when made is no longer true and complete and the circumstances are such that failure to amend the answer is in substance misleading; or
b. If the party expects to call an expert witness when the identity or the subject matter of such expert witness' testimony has not been previously disclosed in response to an appropriate inquiry directly addressed to these matters, such response must be supplemented to include the name, address and telephone number of the expert witness and the substance of the testimony concerning which the expert witness is expected to testify, as soon as is practical, but in no event less than thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of trial except on leave of court.
c. In addition, a duty to supplement answers may be imposed by order of the court or agreement of the parties, or at any time prior to trial through new requests for supplementation of prior answers.
Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984. This new rule combines all scope of discovery concepts into one rule. It incorporates provisions previously located in Rule 167, 186a and 186b.
In the provisions concerning production of documents or tangible things for inspection contained in new Rule 166b, possession, custody or control is defined in terms of a "superior right to compel" from a third party; the existence and contents of settlement agreements are made discoverable; the rule validates the use of interrogatories and admissions that involve the application of law to fact or so-called mixed questions by providing that they are not objectionable on that basis; the rule contains a redraft of the medical authorization provisions of former Rule 167; seeks to clarify rules concerning experts and their reports. It codifies the holding of the Supreme Court in Barker v. Dunham, 551 S.W2d 41 (Tex. 1977) that the status of an expert as an employee does not insulate his identity and opinions from discovery; the rule seeks to clarify the meaning of the phrase "persons. . . having knowledge of relevant facts" formerly contained in the last sentence of Rule 186a.
July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. Order to correct and clarify Dec. 16, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.
April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990
Sept. 4, 1990, effective retrospectively, Sept. 1, 1990
Repealed by order of Aug. 4, 1998, and Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999. See Rules 192.1 et seq, 193.5, 195.1 et seq.