Cubs won the World Series last night, and everyone outside of Cleveland is
both relieved and thrilled. Now that the Cubs’ 108-year drought
is out of the way, we are proud to announce a victory of a different sort.
One of the great pleasures in our practice is working as local counsel
to many fine law firms across the country. We enjoy collaborating on cases
of all types with our peers. We recently had that opportunity in a discovery
battle that played out in our home jurisdiction, Jefferson County, Texas.
Our good friends, David Salyer and Jocelyn Holland of the McLeod, Alexander
law firm in Galveston, Texas asked us to help them in a looming discovery
battle for a mutual client in Beaumont. We were proud to team up with
them on this matter.
Perhaps the last Hurricane Rita lawsuit left was rapidly approaching trial
when the defense challenged the basis of the Plaintiff’s expert’s
testimony. In response, the Plaintiff’s lawyers sent a discovery
request seeking production of every Hurricane Rita claim file our client
had within a 2-mile radius of the Plaintiff’s home. The Trial Court
narrowed the request a tad in response to our client’s objection,
but in the end gave the Plaintiffs what they wanted.
Our client disagreed, and asked the Ninth District Court of Appeals to
reject the Trial Court’s ruling. We were proud to assist David and
Jocelyn in the briefing for the defense, although candidly they carried
the water! Shortly after both sides briefed the issue, the Court of Appeals
ruled in our client’s favor, saying the Trial Court abused its discretion
by ordering our client to turn over claim files for the Plaintiffs’
neighbors’ homes. You can read the entire opinion by clicking here.
This result is a victory for consumers and business alike. Wasting time
and money on irrelevant discovery – called “fishing expeditions”
in the legal world – does no one any good. Discovery disputes clog
the courts, run up costs and delay justice. In the insurance world, that
means higher premium costs and fewer options for insurance products for
people like you and me. Consequently, this was a win we can all gladly
Unfortunately, only the Cubs will get a parade….