Trusts and Estates

Ca. Trs. & Estates Quarterly 2019, Volume 25, Issue 2

TIPS OF THE TRADE: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF FORM INTERROGATORIES: HELPFUL TIPS AND COMMON PITFALLS TO AVOID

By Jarom B. Phipps, Esq.*

I. INTRODUCTION

Form interrogatories can be a cost-effective and simple discovery tool in many types of litigation. However, like any tool, they must be utilized correctly to obtain their fullest potential. Improper use can result in frustration, delay, and harm. While the Judicial Council of California has tailored form interrogatories to family law, unlawful detainer, employment law, and construction litigation, there currently exists no form interrogatories customized specifically for trusts and estates matters. This leaves the "Form Interrogatories-General" ("Form Interrogatories" or, individually, "Form Interrogatory"), with its various sections related to personal injury and breach of contract, as a barebones discovery instrument for disputes involving estates. Nonetheless, it is a "shotty" workman who blames his tools, so this article presents how attorneys can better use and respond to Form Interrogatories in trusts and estates litigation.

II. FORM INTERROGATORIES ARE NOT OBJECTION-PROOF

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