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St. Mary's Law Journal

Authors

Eugene B. Labay

Publisher

St. Mary's University School of Law

Abstract

A well-prepared motion for production of documents is important to the discovery of facts that are essential to the prosecution or defense of a civil case. Litigants may compel the opposing party to release documents, writing, and other records that are necessary to prosecute or defend a cause of action. State and federal courts in Texas encourage a liberal construction of the rules governing discovery in order to narrow the issues in dispute at trial. The state and federal courts’ approach is also premised on the moving party’s entitlement to review all documents pertinent to his case. Because of this, appellate courts will overturn the trial judge’s decision only if there is clear abuse of discretion. Courts may order the production of a wide variety of documents, records, objects and, in limited cases, grant permission to enter and inspect another’s land. Although the motion for production of documents is given wide latitude, it has important limitations. For example, the motion cannot grant opposing counsel access to attorney-client communications that are deemed privileged and confidential. Additionally, the moving party must show “good cause” for production, a requirement which few courts have been able to define, and it must also request the documents with sufficient “particularity.” Even so, the motion for production of documents is a valuable tool for attorneys if they can identify the requested items with reasonable particularity and establish the necessity for the demand. As such, courts should be inclined to grant such discovery requests as they will help the parties attain full disclosure of the facts, establish certainty, and promote settlement.

Included in

Evidence Commons

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