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'Calls for speculation' - valid objection?

Los Angeles, CA |

Is "calls for speculation" a valid objection to a discovery request?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Calls for speculation is usually used as an objection at trial.
    In discovery, either you know it or don't know it. You can be asked to "estimate" but not to "guess". You can estimate the distance to door in the room where you are now sitting. The color of the desk in my office, for you, would be a "guess."

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. I dont know the local practice requirement in your state but it seems like the other side is dancing on the line of an objection but i am not sure if it would qualify as an objection. File a motion to compel discovery and lay it out to a judge. Best to have counsel making these fights if there are significant issues in play. goo luck

    This information provided is in the nature of general information and in no way creates an attorney client relationship with anyone including the individual who posted the question.


  3. Witnesses are not allowed to speculate, at trial or in deposition. Accordingly, there is an objection "calls for speculation." But that is because people can be manipulated by cross-examination questions into saying something about that which they know little or nothing.

    But written discovery requires only that the responding party provide what it knows or has uncovered through reasonable inquiry, in writing, and with the assistance of counsel (if represented). So if you don't know, you can't answer, and that is the response you give. That means the question doesn't call for speculation, and the objection is improper in written discovery form.

    This response is provided as general information only. It is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice must be based on the exact facts of the particular situation, and by necessity this forum is not appropriate for discussion of specific, exact facts. Contact a lawyer for more specific advice. My answer to your question on AVVO does not create an attorney-client relationship.