Discovery: What is a Request for Disclosure?

A Request for Disclosure is a discovery tool which permits a party to obtain certain pre-approved information from another party without having to argue over whether the information is discoverable or must be produced.  Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 194.2 provides for the discovery of twelve different categories of information in a Request for Disclosure:

  1. The correct names of the parties to the lawsuit;
  2. The name, address, and telephone number of any potential party to the lawsuit;
  3. The legal theories and factual bases of the responding party’s claims or defenses;
  4. The amount and method of calculation of any economic damages;
  5. The identity and certain other information about all potential witnesses;
  6. The identity and certain other information about all expert witnesses;
  7. Any indemnity or insurance agreements which might be triggered by a judgment in the case;
  8. Any settlement agreements relating to the case;
  9. Witness statements which have been given in the case;
  10. A claimant’s medical bills and records relevant to damages sought in the case (or an authorization allowing the other party to obtain them directly);
  11. Any medical bills and records obtained through an authorization provided by the opposing party;
  12. The name, address and telephone number of any potential responsible third party.

If a Request for Disclosure precisely tracks the language of the rule[1] and is timely and properly served[2], the responding party has no other option but to provide the information requested. The responding party cannot object or claim a privilege to shield the information from discovery.

A party’s response to a request for disclosure must be supplemented any time the responding party becomes aware of additional information that hasn’t already been provided.  This is commonly referred to as an “on-going duty to supplement.”

— Bonnie Sudderth, Judge of the 352nd District Court of Tarrant County, Texas

[1] The request must be stated as follows:  “Pursuant to Rule 194, you are requested to disclose, within 30 days of service of this request, information or material described in Rule [state rule, e.g., 194.2, 194.2(a), (c), and (f), or 194.2(d)-(g)].”

[2] The request may be made any time after the suit is filed but must be served at least 30 days before the discovery period in the case ends.

This entry was posted in Definitions, Studying for the Texas Bar Exam? Useful Topics, Understanding Basic Legal Concepts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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