2 INTERROGATORIES— written questions by parties to parties’ written responses, under oath.
3 ADVANTAGES OF INTERROGATORIES 1. Inexpensive 2. Broad (all info available) 3. Paralegal intensive 4. Allows time for research 5. Discovers contentions
4 DISADVANTAGES OF INTERROGATORIES 1. Encourage gamesmanship 2. Not spontaneous 3. Easy to evade 4. Only used for parties
5 TYPES OF INTERROGATORIES State court: Special (drafted) Official forms Federal court: Special (drafted)
6 INTERROGATORIES IN STATE PRACTICE Unlimited Civil Cases
7 FORMAT OF DOCUMENT Caption Title Heading Introduction Interrogatories Subscribed
8 FORMAT OF INTERROGATORIES Numbered consecutively set to set Not combined with other discovery No space for answers
9 INTERROGATORY RULES Each complete and independent No preface or instructions No subparts Definitions capitalized in each Not compound, conjunctive, disjunctive
10 Caption, Heading Alma Howardson, Esq. SBN Main St. Vista View, CA Attorney for Plaintiff Smith SUPERIOR COURT OF MOUNTAIN COUNTY James Smith, plaintiff,)Case No v. ) Robert Jones, and Does)INTERROGATORIES 1-5, defendants.) ________________________ )Propounded by: Plaintiff Propounded to: Defendant Set No. Two
11 Interrogatories Pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure §2030, plaintiff James Smith, requests that defendant, Robert Jones, serve verified answers to the following special interrogatories within 30 days after service hereof: 7. State all facts upon which you base your general denial of the complaint herein. 8. IDENTIFY all persons you contend have knowledge of any facts upon which you base your general denial. AS USED IN THIS INTERROGATORY, “IDENTIFY” MEANS STATE THE NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF EACH SUCH PERSON, AND SPECIFY THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU CONTEND HE OR SHE POSSESSES. ______________________ Smith v. Jones Plaintiff’s Interrogatories, Set Twopage 1
12 OFFICIAL FORMS— still meet format requirements even though they: have an introduction, are not complete and independent, have subparts, have definitions, and are compound.
13 “RULE OF 35” Unlimited Official Forms, “Economic Litigation” forms optional Special Interrogatories limited to 35 unless “Declaration of Necessity” Two “Supplemental Sets” permitted
14 INTERROGATORIES IN STATE PRACTICE Limited Civil Cases
15 SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES— have same form and format as unlimited civil cases.
16 OFFICIAL FORMS “Economic Litigation” forms are mandatory.
17 “RULE OF 35” 35 aggregate total of all discovery! Each form interrogatory, each drafted interrogatory, each document request, and each deposition count toward the maximum 35 (without leave of court)— no declaration of necessity!
18 INTERROGATORIES IN FEDERAL PRACTICE
19 FORM AND FORMAT Identical to state court except limit in local rules, exceeded only by court order may have introduction leave room for responses
20 THREE CATEGORIES OF INTERROGATORIES 1. Contention 2. Fact 3. Document identification
21 RESPONDING TO INTERROGATORIES
22 OPTIONS 1. Seek protective order to avoid response. 2. Respond under oath within 30 days (+5 if mailed) 3. Fail to respond—risk waived objections, sanctions.
23 DRAFTING RESPONSES 1. Assert all possible objections. 2. Respond fully and completely. 3. Produce documents instead of compiling info. 4. Serve original with respondent’s verification.
24 RESPONSE OPTION Respondent may provide documents as kept in course of business rather than compile summaries, facts.
25 LACK OF RESPONSE Propounder may move for order compelling responses, and for sanctions. All objections are waived.
26 DEFECTIVE RESPONSE STATE COURT If propounding party disputes responses or objections, counsel must meet and confer to resolve. If no resolution, propounder can move to compel and for sanctions, within 45–50 days of service.
27 DEFECTIVE RESPONSE FEDERAL COURT Same as state court, but no time limit for motion to compel.
28 SUMMARY Interrogatories, Drafted and Form PREVIEW Requests for Admission SUMMARY Interrogatories, Drafted and Form PREVIEW Requests for Admission