Attn: Download New Forms for Required Disclosures under Amended Discovery Rules
Discovery in suits filed on or after January 1, 2021, is governed by recently amended rules. These amendments to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which alter a range of procedures and limitations, are contained in the December 23, 2020, order of the Supreme Court of Texas at Misc. Docket No. 20-9153. (Cases filed before January 1, 2021, continue under the old rules.)
One significant change is elimination of the request for disclosure. Instead, parties are required to disclose certain information without waiting for a request. The three categories of required disclosure are initial disclosures (rule 194.2), testifying witness disclosures (rule 195.5), and pretrial disclosures (rule 194.4). Of most immediate concern to practitioners are the initial disclosures, which must be made within thirty days of the filing of the first answer or general appearance unless a different time is set by agreement of the parties or court order.
The required disclosure forms provided here as a free service to State Bar members were prepared by the Formbook Committee of the State Bar’s Family Law Section and will become part of the Texas Family Law Practice Manual —but they may be used in any suit with minimal adaptation.