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What are permissible questions in pretrial financial discovery in cases involving punitive damages.

Reno, NV |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

Are tax returns privileged information?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If liability has been established for a claim involving punitive damages, then a judge will allow financial disclosures so that punitive damages based on the liable party's net weatth can be awarded.

    The liable party can be asked to provide P&L statements, loan applications, divorce disclosures (which are provided under oath) bank statements, real estate records, etc. Some of these are public records, so your lawyer should be able to verify this information by getting these directly from the sources.

    Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.


  2. No, the tax returns should be fair game unless you can show some type of protectable interest that would warrant a protection order.

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