New discovery rules in Texas will change the divorce process and the cost.
Watch the video here; New discovery rules in Texas and how they affect the cost of your divorce in 2021
Today, I want to talk about how the new discovery rules affect your pocketbook. And by that, I’m talking about the costs associated with complying with the new discovery rules and how that affects your bill with my office.
Many times when people hire lawyers, they’re worried about how the lawyer spends the money they have on deposit. Well, we talked in my initial disclosure video about how the more organized and structured you can provide the information to us, the more cheaply and affordably we can comply with the rules and provide the initial disclosures to the other side.
Watch this video here, Why you should go “all in” during your discovery process
What you also need to know is that there are other components to the new discovery rules that also cause an increase in your fees and expenses associated with the money you put in trust.
Now, we talked about the expert disclosures in another video, and those expert disclosures are required to be provided to the other side within four months of the trial date. And so that’s a hundred and twenty days, roughly, before the trial is set. Oftentimes, we don’t even get a hundred and twenty days’ worth of notice. So, again, that’s another reason we need you to be proactive in providing us the expert information, but this is an expense that we didn’t have prior to these new discovery rules.
Now, the next rules change that causes an increase in your cost is the pretrial disclosures. And these pretrial disclosures are now required to be filed with the court and given to the other side 30 days before the trial date. And what is required to be provided is a list of all the witnesses, all the people that we’re going to call to testify, and all the exhibits. Now the exhibits are oftentimes documents that we’ve either provided to the other side in discovery or received from the other side or a third party through the discovery process. So what that means for you is that we as lawyers are going through your case to decide who we’ll call as witnesses and what records or information, documentary-wise, we’ll introduce at trial.
So for you to help us keep your costs down, 30 days before trial and leading up to that time, the more specific you can be about who you want us to call as witnesses, the cheaper we can keep your costs. When you tell us who you want us to call as witnesses, that narrows down for us the people that we need to call and actually talk to on the phone to see if they’ll be helpful. I can have my staff call every single person that you’ve listed as a person with knowledge of relevant facts, and I don’t mind doing that. But what you need to know is that that increases the fees associated with your case.
If you can narrow down the list, now, I want you to provide all the people that there are that have knowledge of relevant facts, but I also want you to narrow down for me what each person knows or what you think they know and what you think they know and how that’s important to the case.
If I don’t have to call every single person that’s on your list, then obviously, my staff and I am not charging you for the time associated with those jobs, those tasks. So, if you can tell me, I think X person knows this, then I can call that person and say, “Hey, so and so my client told me that you might have information. Do you have information about whatever,” and then they can tell me what they know.
Now, during that time, during that conversation, I can decide if I think they’ll be a viable or a good witness. Or if they actually know what you think they know. Sometimes people only know what you tell them. And so you tell me, they know, whatever fact it is, but they only know it because you told them, and that is not admissible testimony. So understand, the more narrow you can make the list of people you actually want me to call as a witness, the cheaper we can keep your costs.
Further, the more specific you can be with respect to the documents or information, you think should be admitted, the more helpful it is to keep your costs down. But again, the new discovery rules will cause automatically, just by virtue of the things we didn’t formerly have to file but now do, an increase in the fees associated with your case.
So hopefully, this helps you understand when the bill comes why there are certain expenses at certain times involved in your lawsuit.
I want you to know we have your back. We want to protect you, but we want you involved in that process too.
And the more involved that you are in helping guide us to know what’s important, the better we can serve you and be good stewards of the money you have on deposit with our office.
We want you to communicate with us. We want you to let us know what you think is important because after, all it’s your case.
We are here for you. So when you’re ready to proceed, give us a call so we can get started.