LEGAL CORNER: Do I have to answer every question from the other side’s lawyer?
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Legal Corner answers viewers’ civil legal questions.
QUESTION: My lawyer says I have to answer a bunch of written questions from my ex-spouse’s lawyer that don’t seem to have anything to do with our custody case. Why do I have to answer them?
ANSWER: The process is adversarial and geared to encourage lawyers to exchange or discover info about the other side.
The more info each side knows about the other side’s case – the better the prospects for settlement.
Discovery (Interrogatories, depositions, requests for production and requests for admissions) are very broad and can ask anything reasonably calculated to lead to discoverable evidence.
CCP Art. 1422. Scope of discovery; in general
Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with this Chapter, the scope of discovery is as set forth in this Article and in Articles 1423 through 1425.
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
Acts 1976, No. 574, §1.
QUESTION: I was hit by a ball on a golf course. I had to go to the doctor. I’m OK, but I was wondering if I could be reimbursed for my out-of-pocket visit to the doctor?
ANSWER: Probably not. Whenever you engage in a sports activity, there is an assumption of risk. The classic example is a foul ball at a baseball game. Everyone knows you might get hit by a foul ball or your windshield may be struck by a foul ball.
Louisiana has a comparative fault system. Assumption of the risk does not completely bar an injured person from recovery, particularly if they were not aware of the risk. In the facts presented, as long as a normal game of golf was being played, there is likely no recovery.
See Murray v. Ramada Inns, Inc. 521 So. 2d 1123 (1988), for a good discussion on assumption of risk.
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