When a party to a lawsuit receives a discovery request, the receiving party usually responds by (1) producing the requested material, (2) objecting to the discovery request based on some legal or factual grounds, or (3) asserting that the material is privileged and producing a privilege log to the requesting party. Regardless of which of these actions the responding party takes, the requesting party is then aware of the existence (or nonexistence) of responsive materials. However, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP) 193.3(c) allows for a responding party to remain completely silent about the existence of attorney communication made in anticipation of litigation. When utilized correctly, TRCP 193.3(c) is a powerful weapon behind which important-but-damaging information can be completely protected from the opposing party's prying eyes.
In a previous post, we discussed emerging issues relating to the calculation of future medical expenses under the Affordable Care Act - specifically, how the ACA could alter the common law collateral source rule and completely change how future medical damages are calculated. Building on that post, under the ACA (in its current form) it no longer makes practical or theoretical sense to continue the current method of calculating future medical damages and excluding evidence of insurance coverage by invoking the collateral source rule. Indeed, by "guaranteeing" universal health insurance the ACA waters down plaintiffs' core argument for excluding insurance in future medical cost calculations and it undercuts a major purpose of the collateral source rule.
Parties are often reluctant to spend heavily on developing a case in its early stages opting instead to wait until closer to trial to see if the case will settle on its own before incurring costs. However, this approach typically will cost a client more money overall. Here is what an early case assessment can do for you.
It's not an easy time to be an insurance claims professional. Increased claims and a slow economy have brought added pressure to lower litigation costs. Many claims professionals find themselves braving the fine line between handling tasks that are appropriate for an adjuster, and those that require a law license. Time and time again, we see claims professionals delegating simple ministerial tasks to a law firm--tasks that could easily be handled in-house-raising their litigation costs unnecessarily.