In discovery, can we conceal a specific piece of evidence if opposing counsel requests that specific item of evidence?

Asked about 1 year ago - Philadelphia, PA

I.e., surveillance video footage of alleged activity
Case cited: Morganti v. Ace Tire and Parts Inc.
We want to pretend we do not even have this footage, then reveal it at trial after def. lies
Oppos. counsel suspects we have it and wants to see it
Thanks for all answers

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Philip Anthony Fabiano

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . There are specific rules for surveillance tapes. You do not have to disclose the tape even if requested in discovery until after the plaintiff testifies in DEPOSITION. Once the deposition is taken, it must be turned over or you will not be able to use it at trial. I do not agree with this rule--since it a form of ambush which the case law frowns upon--except in this circumstance. I think it should be turned over whenever requested--but again that is not the rule.
    Again, it does not have to be turned over or disclosed before the deposition. If the plaintiff asked whether there is such evidence and has been deposed, it should be turned over or you may not be able to use it at trial.

  2. Christopher Edward Ezold

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My practice includes employment, business and health care law. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies.

    That being said, its a very bad idea to hide evidence. The likely result is that the evidence will be excluded from the trial, and it will be worthless to you. You may also find yourself the focus of the judge's wrath, and subject to sanctions. You are likely better served practically to reveal it now, and use it to force a favorable settlement. You should have an attorney representing you; if not, get one ASAP.

    /Christopher E. Ezold/

    The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
    Employment, Business and Health Law
    One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
    (610) 660-5585
    Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com
    www.ezoldlaw.com

    I am an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the States of Delaware and New Jersey. My... more
  3. Lidia L. Alperovich

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . There is no trial by ambush in PA. And why wait till the Defendant lies when you can actually just produce the tape and prevent him from lying?

  4. Rixon Charles Rafter III

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . Word of caution: When a court finds evidence has been concealed or prevented from being discovered it will go very badly for the party doing the hiding. Court could go high and right--and decide the case for the other party on those grounds alone......

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of... more

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