Tips & Tactics
How to Use Interrogatories ...
Interrogatories are written demands for information that force the other side to provide facts you need to win your lawsuit, written demands the other side must answer in writing ... under oath!
That's case-winning power ... if you know how to use it!
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The Always Question: Here's an interrogatory I use every time. "Identify all persons having first-hand knowledge of any fact relevant to the outcome of this case and, with respect to each such person, state the facts known and whether you intend to call such person at trial."
You're sure to get, "Objection, overly broad, unduly burdensome, seeks to inquire into the attorney-client privilege," etceteras ad nauseum. That's ok. You'll then file a motion to compel answers, and when you get to the hearing on your motion you'll explain to the judge why the other side should be compelled to tell you the name, address, phone number, facts known, and so forth. The judge will grant your motion, because you will support it with a memorandum citing several controlling appellate court cases making clear that to deny this information is an automatic reversal on appeal.
The Stupid Question: It never fails to amaze me how some lawyers tack on an interrogatory asking the person answering to identify himself or herself. That person's signature will be appended to the end of their response, and the notary will attest that the same person swore to the answers. Every state and federal court limits the number of interrogatories you're allowed to use. It makes no sense to ask for information you don't need. Use interrogatories only to get information you need to win!
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