"V" is for Victory!

Yes, the 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 celebrate.

Unfortunately, only the Cubs will get a parade….