Discovery Objections: General vs. Specific

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Discovery Objections

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When developing discovery objections, they will typically fall into one of two categories – general objections or specific objections. The rule and expectation is that your objections be precise.  Too often general objections are used. Utilize the right type in your case.

General Objections

General objections, also known as boilerplate objections, may be of some value. While the rules require objections to be specific to discovery requests, general objections as to attorney-client privilege and work product items may help protect you and the client.   

Examples of general discovery objections

These are some examples of how general objections are used:

  • To the extent that the instructions or definitions exceed or are not consistent with the Rules of the Court, they are objected to.
  • All objections as to relevance, authenticity, or another basis for admissibility at trial are preserved.
  • If any of these requests call for documents or info protected by the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work product doctrine, they are objected to.

Specific Objections

Specific objections are more likely to get you the result you’re seeking. The purpose of your objection is to inform opposing counsel and the court that you see a problem with the request and then the objection should inform opposing counsel as to what the nature of the problem is.

Examples of specific objections you can make during discovery include the following: 

  • Not reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence;
  • Privileged (specify the privilege);
  • Subject to the attorney work product doctrine;
  • Calls for the mental impressions of counsel;
  • Confidential or proprietary;
  • Prepared in anticipation of litigation;
  • Equally available to the opposing party;
  • Overly broad. Counsel may ask that the scope be limited in time or otherwise.  In the case of requesting medical information, it may be limited to a five-year period;
  • Vague, ambiguous, or unclear;
  • Unduly burdensome;
  • Seeking legal opinions or legal conclusions; and
  • Beyond the scope of permissible discovery.

These objections alone however may not suffice.  Therefore if you’re saying that something is vague, you need to give particulars as to why it’s vague.  Where you’re saying that it’s equally available to the opposing side, you need to specify.  If you’re saying it’s overly broad, you need to specify.  Again the emphasis has to be on being specific.

Ensure you have solid discovery objections

For more support on developing solid discovery objections, contact us to learn how to support you in crafting objections that help things go in your favor.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on discovery objections see the Wikipedia pages. Also see Brien Roche’s book on Objections.
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Discovery Objections: General vs. Specific

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation