law-protective-discovery-order | discovery mandamus
Unduly Broad and Burdensome Discovery Requests
GAO further contends the trial court's ruling is properly based on any of its objections that the discovery
requests are overly broad, unduly burdensome, not reasonably related to any issue in this case, harassing,
oppressive, irrelevant, not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, not
relevant to the subject matter of the remaining claims, not relevant to any valid defense, without support in
the pleadings, nothing more than delay tactics, or merely a fishing expedition. In re Liberty Mutual Ins. Co.,
No. 14-09-00086-CV (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 24, 2009)(Seymore)
(discovery mandamus granted, laches argument overruled, no lack of diligence)
The trial court may exercise some discretion in granting a protective order and controlling the nature and
form of discovery. Masinga v. Whittington, 792 S.W.3d 940, 940 (Tex. 1990) (orig. proceeding). That
discretion, however, is not without bounds. Id. The party seeking to avoid discovery must show a particular,
specific, and demonstrable injury by facts sufficient to justify a protective order, and the trial court may not
grant a protective order limiting discovery unless the party seeking such protection has met this burden. Id.
at 940-41; see also Garcia v. Peeples, 734 S.W.2d 343, 345 (Tex. 1987) (orig. proceeding) (requiring “a
particular, articulated and demonstrable injury, as opposed to conclusory allegations"). Thus, the party
resisting discovery is not free to make conclusory statements that the requested discovery is unduly
burdensome or unnecessarily harrassing, but, instead, must produce some evidence supporting its request
for a protective order. In re Alford Chevrolet-Geo, 997 S.W.2d at 181. In support of their motion for a
protective order, GAO produced no specific evidence that the third-party discovery requests are unduly
burdensome or unnecessarily harassing to it. Therefore, the trial court's protective order cannot be properly
based on GAO's stock objections.
Cumulative or Duplicative Discovery
GAO also asserts the trial court has a duty to limit discovery that is cumulative or duplicative, and
relators concede the information they seek is additional to that already in the summary judgment
record. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 192.4(a) (providing that discovery methods permitted by these rules
should be limited by the court if it determines that “the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative
or duplicative, . . ."). In re Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., No. 14-09-00086-CV (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.]
Feb. 24, 2009)(Seymore)(discovery mandamus granted, laches argument overruled, no lack of diligence)
Contrary to GAO's argument, evidence regarding communications with GAO submitted in support of relators'
response to GAO's motion for partial summary judgment is from relators' own employees, while relators are
seeking information about those communication from GAO and third-party participants. The information
sought is not impermissibly cumulative.