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Regarding Discovery propounded to a plaintiff, a corporation, can the discovery responses be provided only by a lawyer?

Sacramento, CA |

Regarding Discovery propounded to a plaintiff, a corporation, can/may the discovery responses be provided only by a lawyer? In other words, is it correct for the plaintiff's attorney to object/answer all the questions, sign the response (without having any personal knowledge of the contents), and -not- provide any signature/identification of an agent/employee of the plaintiff?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

An attorney can respond to discovery if the responses are nothing more than objections. Otherwise, the responses need to be made by a person with knowledge of the information who can verify those responses.

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Asker

Posted

So if the response is nothing but objection, then no verification required. Otherwise verification by someone with personal knowledge is required. Ok, that makes sense, thanks.

Posted

If you are involved in litigation then ask your attorney who is defending you and dealing with opposing counsel on such matters. Whatever concerns you have are best presented to your lawyer.

My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.

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Posted

I'm curious why you'd bother to respond if you were just going to say that? Obviously, if I had an attorney, I would ask said attorney and wouldn't be asking here/researching on the internet. In fact, if I had an attorney the attorney would have received the discovery responses and I wouldn't even have to ask about it.

John P Corrigan

John P Corrigan

Posted

you did not state either way and perhaps were in the midst of changing attorneys or did not trust the attorney who you hired or he /she did not explain things well. The fact that you are being sued by a corporation and do not have an attorney is surprising as well and your question should trigger the need for you to get one ASAP.

Posted

I agree with the previous answers. Unless the response contains only objections, it is improper for an attorney alone to sign discovery responses.

Also keep in mind that in California, a corporation cannot usually prosecute an action in Superior Court without being represented by an attorney. Make sure if you are a corporation involved in a lawsuit in California that you are represented by an attorney.

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Posted

Thanks John. And yes, that makes sense that corporations require lawyers. That would certainly be the right context for Mr. Corrigan's response, I probalby should have clarified that I wasn't a corp.

John C. Orcutt III

John C. Orcutt III

Posted

Ah! That makes far more sense now, and the short answer is more than sufficient. Any responses to discovery will have to be verified and signed under penalty of perjury by whoever is responsible for the corporation.

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