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Rule 166b. Forms and Scope of Discovery; Protective Orders; Supplementation of Responses (1990)
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 were 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 an expert 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 an expert witness at trial is required if the consulting expert's opinion or impressions have been reviewed by a testifying expert.
(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 if the consulting expert's opinions or impressions have been reviewed by a testifying expert.
(3) Determination of Status. (No change.)
(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 an expert 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 protected from disclosure by privilege:
a. Work Product. The work product of an attorney, subject to the exceptions of Texas Rule of Civil Evidence SO3( d), which shall govern as to work product as well as to attorneyclient privilege.
b. Experts. The identity, mental 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 an expert witness, except that the identity, mental impressions and opinions of an expert who will not be called to testify as an expert and any documents or tangible things containing such impressions and opinions are discoverable if the consulting expert's opinion or impressions have been reviewed by a testifying expert.
c. Witness Statements. The written statements of potential witnesses and parties, when made subsequent to the occurrence or transaction upon which the suit is based and in connection with the prosecution, investigation, or defense of the particular suit, or in anticipation of the prosecution or defense of the claims made in a part of the pending litigation, except that persons, whether parties or not, shall be entitled to obtain, upon request, copies of statements they have previously made concerning the action or its subject matter and which are in the possession, custody, or control of any party. The term "written statements" includes (i) a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it, and (ii) 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. For purpose of this paragraph a photograph is not a statement.
d. Party Communications. Communications between agents or representatives or the employees of a party to the action or communications between a party and that party's agents, representatives or employees, when made subsequent to the occurrence or transaction upon which the suit is based and in connection with the prosecution, investigation or defense of the particular suit, or in anticipation of the prosecution or defense of the claims made a part of the pending litigation. This exemption does not include communications prepared by or for experts that are otherwise discoverable. For the purpose of this paragraph, a photograph is not a communication.
e. Other Privileged Information. Any matter protected from disclosure by any other privilege.
Upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials and that the party is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means, a party may obtain discovery of the materials otherwise exempted from discovery by subparagraphs c and d of this paragraph 3. 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 reviewed by a testifying expert.
4. Presentation of Objections. Either an objection or a motion for protective order made by a party to discovery shall preserve that objection without further support or action by the party unless the objection or motion is set for hearing and determined by the court. Any party may at any reasonable time request a hearing on any objection or motion for protective order. The failure of a party to obtain a ruling prior to trial on any objection to discovery or motion for protective order does not waive such objection or motion; but any matter that is withheld from discovery pursuant to any objection or motion for protective order, whether or not ruled upon prior to trial, shall not be admitted in evidence to the benefit of the withholding party absent timely supplemental production of the matter pursuant to paragraph 6. In objecting to an appropriate discovery request within the scope of paragraph 2, a party seeking to exclude any matter from discovery on the basis of an exemption or immunity from discovery, must specifically plead the particular exemption or immunity from discovery relied upon and at or prior to any hearing shall produce any evidence necessary to support such claim either in the form of affidavits served at least seven days before the hearing or by testimony. If the trial court determines that an in camera inspection and review by the court of some or all of the requested discovery is necessary, the objecting party must segregate and produce the discovery to the court in a sealed wrapper or by answers made in camera to deposition questions, to be transcribed and sealed in event the objection is sustained. When a party seeks to exclude documents from discovery and the basis for objection is undue burden, unnecessary expense, harassment or annoyance, or invasion of personal, constitutional, or property rights, rather than a specific immunity or exemption, it is not necessary for the court to conduct an inspection and review of the particular discovery before ruling on the objection. After the date on which answers are to be served, objections are waived unless an extension of time has been obtained by agreement or order of the court or good cause is shown for the failure to object within such period.
5. 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. Motions or responses made under this rule may have exhibits attached including affidavits, discovery pleadings, or any other documents. 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 for good cause shown results of discovery be sealed or otherwise adequately protected, that its distribution be limited, or that its disclosure be restricted. Any order under this subparagraph 5(c) shall be made in accordance with the provisions of Rule 76a with respect to all court records subject to that rule.
6. 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 to reasonably 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.
7. Discovery Motions. All discovery motions shall contain a certificate by the party filing same that efforts to resolve the discovery dispute without the necessity of court intervention have been attempted and failed.
Amended by order of April 24, 1990, eff. Sept. 1, 1990: To eliminate the contradiction between Rule 166b. 2(e) (1) and (2) and corresponding Rule 166b. 3(e), Rule 166b. 2(e) (1) and (2) have been modified to make discoverable the impressions and opinions of a consulting expert if a testifying expert has reviewed those opinions and material, regardless of whether the opinions and material form a basis for the opinion of the testifying expert. The amendments to Section 3 standardize language and provide that matters exempt under paragraph 3(c) are not made discoverable solely because the consultant mayor is to be a fact witness only. The amendments to Section 4 expressly dispense with the necessity of doing anything more than serving objections to preserve discovery complaints in order to avoid unnecessary time and expense to parties and time of the courts, particularly where no party ever requests a hearing on the objection. The failure of any party to do more than merely object fully shall never constitute a waiver of any objection, but information withheld may not be used in evidence at trial by the withholding party absent supplementation. The last sentence added to Section 4 was previously the second sentence of Rule 168(6) and was moved because it applies to all discovery objections. Section 5(c) is amended to reference the requirements of new Rule 76a. New Section 7 was added to ensure that court time will not be taken to resolve discovery disputes unless the parties cannot resolve them without court intervention.
|Prior Amendments||Future Amendments|
|Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984||Sept. 4, 1990, effective retrospectively, Sept. 1, 1990|
|July 15, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. Order to correct and clarify Dec. 16, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.||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.|