Don't Want to Answer a Discovery Request? 5 Objections to Consider

12 August 2022
 Categories: , Blog


The process of discovery is an important early step in your civil litigation case. It permits and requires the exchange of information between the two sides, helping you build a strong case against your opponent.

But what can you do if you receive a request for admission or interrogatory which could be damaging your case? In most cases, you cannot simply ignore or fail to answer. But you can object if there are reasonable grounds. Here are five of the most common reasons you may opt to object to a discovery request. 

1. It's Too Vague.

Interrogatories and requests that you admit or deny some fact must be direct enough that you aren't left wondering what they mean. If the wording is too vague, broad, or wandering, it can be objected to.

2. It Calls for a Legal Conclusion.

Discovery is an attempt to understand facts regarding the case and what is (or is not) at issue. It's not an attempt to get you to draw conclusions about the case. A request for admission may rightly ask you to admit or deny that you materially breached a contract, but you may also be able to object on the grounds that this is for the court to decide. 

3. It's Too Early to Know. 

Because this stage is early in the building of a case, not every fact or detail is yet known. This may be useful to you if you encounter a request that may be changed by the facts you discover later. In this case, a reasonable objection might state that you cannot answer the interrogatory because the information is not yet known. 

4. It's Not Relevant.

Even though discovery may feel intrusive, its goal is to level the playing field for both sides of a dispute. But that doesn't mean every question is on the table. If the question is not likely to lead to relevant, admissible evidence, or is designed to harass you, you may not have to answer it. 

5. It Violates the Rules.

Each jurisdiction has rules about how discovery may be handled. This includes things like how many questions someone may ask. If the objectionable question exceeds these limits or violates state wording rules, it's worth objecting to.

Where to Learn More

Finding the best way to balance your obligations during discovery with your rights is challenging. But the right choices in response to interrogatories and requests for admission help you strengthen your case and avoid accidentally bolstering the other party's. The best resource to make these choices is the assistance of a qualified civil law attorney in your state. Make an appointment today to get started.