Can a party preserve specific objections to discovery by filing a Protective Order? One recent case out of Tyler, Texas, answers that question.
In re Park Cities Bank, 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 10254 (Tex. App.-Tyler Aug. 15, 2013).
The Brief Facts:
The facts of this case are long, but the following are what are important for our purposes. The Plaintiff served requests for production. Instead of specifically objecting to the requests for production, the Defendants filed a motion for protective order and later filed general objections with a request that if the general objections were overruled they would have the option to later file specific objections. The trial court overruled all of those requests and the Defendants sought help from the appellate court arguing that the motion for protective order preserved the right to later file specific objections.
The Tyler Court of Appeals Affirmed:
The Tyler Court of Appeals first observed that Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 192.6(a) (protective orders) does not provide an exception to timely filing specific objections. Next the Tyler Court of Appeals found that the Defendants general objections and reservation of the right to later file specific objections was invalid because the rules do not allow general objections and a reservation to later file specific objections. The Tyler Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court did not err by finding that the Defendants waived their objections.
What to Take Away:
Always specifically object and, if necessary, move for a protective order under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 192.6(a) when presented with objectionable discovery. If you are unsure, do both. If you only move for a protective order and make no objections or general objections, your objections are waived.