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Rule 190.3. Discovery Control Plan – By Rule (Level 2) (Aug. 1998)

TEXT

(a) Application. Unless a suit is governed by a discovery control plan under Rules 190.2 Or 190.4, discovery must be conducted in accordance with this subdivision.

(b) Limitations. Discovery is subject to the limitations provided elsewhere in these rules and to the following additional limitations:

(1) Discovery period. All discovery must be conducted during the discovery period, which begins when suit is filed and continues until: (A) 30 days before the date set for trial, in cases under the Family Code; or (B) in other cases, the earlier of

(i) 30 days before trial, or

(ii) nine months after the earlier of the date of the first oral deposition or the due date of the first response to written discovery.

(2) Total time for oral depositions. Each side may have no more than 50 hours in oral depositions to examine and cross-examine parties on the opposing side, experts designated by those parties, and persons who are subject to those parties' control. "Side" refers to all the litigants with generally common interests in the litigation. If one side designate more than two experts, the opposing side may have an additional six hours of total deposition time for each additional expert designated. The court may modify the deposition hours and must do so when a side or party would be given unfair advantage.

(3) Interrogatories. Any party may serve on any other party no more than 25 written interrogatories, excluding interrogatories asking a party only to identify or authenticate specific documents. Each discrete subpart of an interrogato­ry is considered a separate interrogatory.

Aug. 4, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

Notes and Comments

Comments to 1999 change:

1. Rule 190.2 does not apply to suits for injunctive relief or divorces involving children. The requirement of an affirmative pleading of limited relief (e.g.: "Plaintiff affirmatively pleads that he seeks only monetary relief aggregating $50,000 or less, excluding costs, prejudgment interest and attorneys' fees") does not conflict with other pleading requirements, such as Rule 47 and Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. Ann. art. 4590i, § 5.01. In a suit to which Rule 190.2 applies, the relief awarded cannot exceed the relief pleaded because the purpose of the rule, unlike Rule 47, is to bind the pleader to a maximum claim. Thus, the rule in Greenhalgh v. Service Lloyds Ins. Co., 787 S.W.2d 938 (Tex. 1990), does not apply.

2. "Discrete subparts" of interrogatories are counted as single interrogatories, but not every separate factual inquiry is a discrete subpart. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(a). While not susceptible of precise definition, see Braden v. Downey, 811 S.W.2d 922, 927-928 (Tex. 1991), a "discrete subpart" is, in general, one that calls for inforIl1ation that is not logically or factually related to the primary interrogatory.

3. As other rules make clear, unless otherwise ordered or agreed, parties seeking discovery must serve requests sufficiently far in advance of the end of the discovery period that the deadline for responding will be within the discovery period.

4. Use of forms of discovery other than depositions and interrogatories, such as requests for disclosure, admissions, or production of documents, are not restricted in Levels 1 and 2. But depositions on written questions cannot be used to circumvent the limits on interrogatories.

5. The concept of "side" in Rule 190.3(b)(2) borrows from Rule 233, which governs the allocation of peremptory strikes, and from Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(a)(2). In most cases there are only two sides - plaintiffs and defendants. In complex cases, however, there may be more than two sides, such as when defendants have sued third parties not named by plaintiffs, or when defendants have sued each other. As an example, if PI and P2 sue Dl, D2, and D3, and D1 sues D2 and D3, Ps would together be entitled to depose Ds and others permitted by the rule (i.e., Ds' experts and persons subject to Ds' control) for 50 hours, and Ds would together be entitled to depose Ps and others for 50 hours. D1 would also be entitled to depose D2 and D3 and others for 50 hours on matters in controversy among them, and D2 and D3 would together be entitled to depose Dl and others for 50 hours.

6. Any matter listed in Rule 166 may be addressed in an order issued under Rule 190.4. A pretrial order under Rule 166 may be used in individual cases regardless of the discovery level.

7. For purposes of defining discovery periods, "trial" does not include summary judgment.

AMENDMENTS

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
  Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999