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Rule 192. Permissible Discovery: Forms And Scope; Work Product; Protective Orders; Definitions (Aug1998)
192.1 Forms of Discovery. Permissible forms of discovery are:
(a) requests for disclosure;
(b) requests for production and inspection of documents and tangible things;
(c) requests and motions for entry upon and examination of real property;
(d) interrogatories to a party; (e) requests for admission;
(t) oral or written depositions; and
(g) motions for mental or physical examinations.
192.2 Sequence of Discovery. The permissible forms of discovery may be combined in the same document and may be taken in any order or sequence.
192.3 Scope of Discovery.
(a) Generally. In general, a party may obtain discovery regarding any matter that is not privileged and is relevant to the subject matter of the pending case, 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 a ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
(b) Documents and tangible things. A party may obtain discovery of the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, location, and contents of documents and tangible things (including papers, books, accounts, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, electronic or videotape recordings, data, and data compilations) that constitute or contain matters relevant to the subject matter of the action. A person is required to produce a document or tangible thing that is within the person's possession, custody, or control.
(c) Persons with knowledge of relevant facts. A party may obtain discovery of the name, address, and telephone number of persons having knowledge of relevant facts, and a brief statement of each identified person's connection with the case. A person has knowledge of relevant facts when that person has or may have knowledge of any discoverable matter. The person need not have admissible information or personal knowledge of the facts. An expert who has acquired knowledge of relevant facts not in preparation for trial or in anticipation of litigation is "a person with knowledge of relevant facts," but an expert who acquired knowledge of relevant facts for trial or in anticipation of litigation is not "a person with knowledge of relevant facts" as to those facts.
(d) Trial witnesses. A party may obtain discovery of the name, address, and telephone number of any person who is expected to be called to testify at trial. This paragraph does not apply to rebuttal or impeaching witnesses the necessity of whose testimony cannot reasonably be anticipated before trial.
(e) Testifying and consulting experts. The identity, mental impressions, and opinions of a consulting expert whose mental impressions and opinions have not been reviewed by a testifying expert are not discoverable. A party may discover the following information regarding a testifying expert or regarding a consulting expert whose mental impressions or opinions have been reviewed by a testifying expert:
(1) the expert's name, address, and telephone number;
(2) the subject matter of which a testifying expert will testify;
(3) the facts known by the expert that relate to or form the basis of the expert's mental impressions and opinions formed or made in connection with the case in which the discovery is sought, regardless of when and how the factual information was acquired;
(4) the expert's mental impressions and opinions formed or made in connection with the casein which discovery is sought;
(5) evidence of bias;
(6) all documents, tangible things, reports, models, or data compilations that have been provided to, reviewed by, or prepared by or for the expert in anticipation of a testifying expert's testimony;
(7) the expert's current resume and bibliography.
(t) Indemnity and insuring agreements. Except as otherwise provided by law, a party may obtain discovery of the existence and contents of any indemnity or insurance agreement under which any person may be liable to satisfy part or all of a judgment rendered in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment. Information concerning the indemnity or insurance agreement is not by reason of disclosure admissible in evidence at trial. This paragraph does not apply to an insurer's reservation of its right to contest coverage.
(g) Settlement agreements. A party may obtain discovery of the existence and contents of any relevant portions of a settlement agreement. Information concerning a settlement agreement is not by reason of disclosure admissible in evidence at trial.
(h) Statements of persons with knowledge of relevant facts. A party may obtain discovery of the statement of any person with knowledge of relevant facts - a "witness statement" - regardless of when the statement was made. A witness statement is (1) a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved in writing by the person making it, or (2) a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other type of recording a witness's oral statement, or any substantially verbatim transcription of such a recording. Notes taken during a conversation or interview with a witness are not a witness statement. Any person may obtain, upon written request, his or her own statement concerning the lawsuit, which is in the possession, custody or control of any party.
(i) Potential parties. A party may obtain discovery of the name, address, and telephone number of any potential party.
(j) Contentions. A party may obtain discovery of any other party's legal contentions and the factual bases for those contentions.
192.4 Limitations on Scope of Discovery. The discovery methods permitted by these rules should be limited by the court if it determines, on motion or on its own initiative and on reasonable notice, that:
(a) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from some .other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive; or
(b) the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, taking into account the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation, and the importance of the proposed discovery in resolving the issues.
192.5 Work Product.
(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, 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.
(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.
192.6 Protective Orders.
(a) Motion. A person from whom discovery is sought may move within the time permitted for response to the discovery request for an order protecting that person from the discovery sought. A person should not move for protection when an objection to written discovery or an assertion of privilege is appropriate, but a motion does not waive the objection or assertion of privilege. If a person seeks protection regarding the time or place of discovery, the person must state a reasonable time and place for discovery with which the person will comply. A person must comply with a request to the extent protection is not sought unless it is unreasonable under the circumstances to do so before obtaining a ruling on the motion.
(b) Order. To protect the movant from undue burden, unnecessary expense, harassment, annoyance, or invasion of personal, constitutional, or property rights, the court may make any order in the interest of justice and may - among other things - order that:
(1) the requested discovery not be sought in whole or in part;
(2) the extent or subject matter of discovery be limited;
(3) the discovery not be undertaken at the time or place specified;
(4) the discovery be undertaken only by such method or upon such terms and conditions or at the time and place directed by the court;
(5) the results of discovery be sealed or otherwise protected, subject to the provisions of Rule 76a.
192.7 Definitions. As used in these rules:
Aug. 4, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.
(a) Written discovery means requests for disclosure, requests for production and inspection of documents and tangible things, interrogatories, and requests for admission.
(b) Possession, custody, or control of an item means that the person either has physical possession of the item or has a right to possession of the item that is equal or superior to the person who has physical possession of the item.
(c) A testifying expert is an expert who may be called to testify as an expert witness at trial.
(d) A consulting expert is an expert who has been consulted, retained, or specially employed by a party in anticipation of litigation or in preparation for trial, but who is not a testifying expert.
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 K-Mart v. Sanderson, 937 S.W.2d 429 (Tex. 1996) (per curiam); Dillard Dept. Stores v. Hall, 909 S.W. 2d 491 (Tex. 1997) (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."
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 l66b 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 only to prevent unwarranted delay and expense. A court abuses its discretion in otherwise restricting a party’s access to information through discovery.
8. Work product is defined for the first time, and its exceptions stated. The exception indiscoverable but subjects them to the same rules concerning the scope of discovery, work product, and privileges applicable to other documents of tangible things.
Nov. 9, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999