Reich & Binstock
Free Initial Consultation Call
713-352-7883
713-352-7883

Interrogatories During Discovery in a Lawsuit: What is an Interrogatory?

This post is about interrogatories, a specific kind of discovery evidence. If you would like to know more about lawsuits generally, click here. https://www.reichandbinstock.com/blog/2018/04/how-does-a-personal-injury-lawsuit-work.shtml

What is an interrogatory? An interrogatory is a question, or set of written questions that one party will "serve" upon another party. The answering party must write their responses, and be answered under oath.

Just because the asking party asks the questions in writing, does not mean that the answering party must answer them. With the advice of an attorney, the answer party can also object in a variety of different ways to any question, asserting attorney-client privilege, attorney work-product privilege, or by merely stating that the question would elicit evidence needed at trial. The list of objections is not limited, and your attorney may simply advise you to not answer the question, because the other party is not entitled to the information. This information would be considered "non-discoverable."

Simply put, just because the questions are written, does not mean the questioning party is entitled to the information gathered from the questions.

In Texas, the questions are required to be served upon the answering party within 30 days of the end of the discovery period in the lawsuit. Answers are typically required to be sent back to the asking party within 30 days.

There are advantages and disadvantages to interrogatories. One of the best advantages for both parties is each party has the luxury of time to calculate well-thought out responses, because the party being questioned is not on the stand, and time is not of importance, as opposed to a trial, where the witness may be forced to give answer by the judge, if the question is deemed appropriate. It may also be more convenient for each party, if neither has the time to schedule an in-person deposition, or formal hearing.

A disadvantage, most notably for the asking party, is when you ask a witness questions while they are on the stand, there is a large if information that you can also gather: tone of voice, are they nervous, does the witness seem like they are lying? Body language and other mannerisms are thereby absent when gathering evidence only by interrogatory, instead of a deposition or hearing.

Interrogatories serve an important function in our legal system. They have their place, but the best advice is to seek counsel on whether they are in fact the best method of obtaining evidence.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us For a Free Legal Consultation There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Call for a Free Legal Consultation: 713-352-7883
Reich & Binstock - Pharmaceutical Injury & Class Action Lawyers

4265 San Felipe
Suite 1000
Houston, TX 77027

Toll Free: 877-643-3099
Phone: 713-352-7883
Fax: 713-623-8724
Houston Law Office Map