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URCP Rule 26 (Rules of Civil Procedure)

 

Rule 26. General provisions governing disclosure and discovery.
Rule printed on July 5, 2022 at 10:29 pm. Go to https://www.utcourts.gov/rules for current rules.
Effective: 5/4/2022

(a) Disclosure. This rule applies unless changed or supplemented by a rule governing disclosure and discovery in a practice area.

(1) Initial disclosures. Except in cases exempt under paragraph (a)(3), a party must, without waiting for a discovery request, serve on the other parties:

(A) the name and, if known, the address and telephone number of:

(i) each individual likely to have discoverable information supporting its claims or defenses, unless solely for impeachment, identifying the subjects of the information; and

(ii) each fact witness the party may call in its case-in-chief and, except for an adverse party, a summary of the expected testimony;

(B) a copy of all documents, data compilations, electronically stored information, and tangible things in the possession or control of the party that the party may offer in its case-in-chief, except charts, summaries, and demonstrative exhibits that have not yet been prepared and must be disclosed in accordance with paragraph (a)(5);

(C) a computation of any damages claimed and a copy of all discoverable documents or evidentiary material on which such computation is based, including materials about the nature and extent of injuries suffered;

(D) a copy of any agreement under which any person may be liable to satisfy part or all of a judgment or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment; and

(E) a copy of all documents to which a party refers in its pleadings.

(2) Timing of initial disclosures. The disclosures required by paragraph (a)(1) must be served on the other parties:

(A) by a plaintiff within 14 days after the filing of the first answer to that plaintiff’s complaint; and

(B) by a defendant within 42 days after the filing of that defendant’s first answer to the complaint.

(3) Exemptions.

(A) Unless otherwise ordered by the court or agreed to by the parties, the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) do not apply to actions:

(i) for judicial review of adjudicative proceedings or rule making proceedings of an administrative agency;

(ii) governed by Rule 65B or Rule 65C;

(iii) to enforce an arbitration award;

(iv) for water rights general adjudication under Title 73, Chapter 4, Determination of Water Rights.

(B) In an exempt action, the matters subject to disclosure under paragraph (a)(1) are subject to discovery under paragraph (b).

(4) Expert testimony.

(A) Disclosure of retained expert testimony. A party must, without waiting for a discovery request, serve on the other parties the following information regarding any person who may be used at trial to present evidence under Rule702 of the Utah Rules of Evidence and who is retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony in the case or whose duties as an employee of the party regularly involve giving expert testimony: (i) the expert’s name and qualifications, including a list of all publications authored within the preceding 10 years, and a list of any other cases in which the expert has testified as an expert at trial or by deposition within the preceding four years, (ii) a brief summary of the opinions to which the witness is expected to testify, (iii) the facts, data, and other information specific to the case that will be relied upon by the witness in forming those opinions, and (iv) the compensation to be paid for the witness’s study and testimony.

(B) Limits on expert discovery. Further discovery may be obtained from an expert witness either by deposition or by written report. A deposition must not exceed four hours and the party taking the deposition must pay the expert’s reasonable hourly fees for attendance at the deposition. A report must be signed by the expert and must contain a complete statement of all opinions the expert will offer at trial and the basis and reasons for them. Such an expert may not testify in a party’s case-in-chief concerning any matter not fairly disclosed in the report. The party offering the expert must pay the costs for the report.

(C) Timing for expert discovery.

(i) The party who bears the burden of proof on the issue for which expert testimony is offered must serve on the other parties the information required by paragraph (a)(4)(A) within 14 days after the close of fact discovery. Within 14 days thereafter, the party opposing the expert may serve notice electing either a deposition of the expert pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(B) and Rule 30, or a written report pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(B). The deposition must occur, or the report must be served on the other parties, within 42 days after the election is served on the other parties. If no election is served on the other parties, then no further discovery of the expert must be permitted.

(ii) The party who does not bear the burden of proof on the issue for which expert testimony is offered must serve on the other parties the information required by paragraph (a)(4)(A) within 14 days after the later of (A) the date on which the disclosure under paragraph (a)(4)(C)(i) is due, or (B) service of the written report or the taking of the expert’s deposition pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(C)(i). Within 14 days thereafter, the party opposing the expert may serve notice electing either a deposition of the expert pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(B) and Rule 30, or a written report pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(B). The deposition must occur, or the report must be served on the other parties, within 42 days after the election is served on the other parties. If no election is served on the other parties, then no further discovery of the expert must be permitted.

(iii) If the party who bears the burden of proof on an issue wants to designate rebuttal expert witnesses, it must serve on the other parties the information required by paragraph (a)(4)(A) within 14 days after the later of (A) the date on which the election under paragraph (a)(4)(C)(ii) is due or (B) service of the written report or the taking of the expert’s deposition pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(C)(ii). Within 14 days thereafter, the party opposing the expert may serve notice electing either a deposition of the expert pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(B) and Rule 30, or a written report pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(B). The deposition must occur, or the report must be served on the other parties, within 42 days after the election is served on the other parties. If no election is served on the other parties, then no further discovery of the expert must be permitted. The court may preclude an expert disclosed only as a rebuttal expert from testifying in the case in chief.

(D) Multiparty actions. In multiparty actions, all parties opposing the expert must agree on either a report or a deposition. If all parties opposing the expert do not agree, then further discovery of the expert may be obtained only by deposition pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(B) and Rule 30.

(E) Summary of non-retained expert testimony. If a party intends to present evidence at trial under Rule 702 of the Utah Rules of Evidence from any person other than an expert witness who is retained or specially employed to provide testimony in the case or a person whose duties as an employee of the party regularly involve giving expert testimony, that party must serve on the other parties a written summary of the facts and opinions to which the witness is expected to testify in accordance with the deadlines set forth in paragraph (a)(4)(C). Such a witness cannot be required to provide a report pursuant to paragraph (a)(4)(B). A deposition of such a witness may not exceed four hours and, unless manifest injustice would result, the party taking the deposition must pay the expert's reasonable hourly fees for attendance at the deposition.

(5) Pretrial disclosures.

(A) A party must, without waiting for a discovery request, serve on the other parties:

(i) the name and, if not previously provided, the address and telephone number of each witness, unless solely for impeachment, separately identifying witnesses the party will call and witnesses the party may call;

(ii) the name of witnesses whose testimony is expected to be presented by transcript of a deposition;

(iii) designations of the proposed deposition testimony; and

(iv) a copy of each exhibit, including charts, summaries, and demonstrative exhibits, unless solely for impeachment, separately identifying those which the party will offer and those which the party may offer.

(B) Disclosure required by paragraph (a)(5)(A) must be served on the other parties at least 28 days before trial. Disclosures required by paragraph (a)(5)(A)(i) and (a)(5)(A)(ii) must also be filed on the date that they are served. At least 14 days before trial, a party must serve any counter designations of deposition testimony and any objections and grounds for the objections to the use of any deposition, witness, or exhibit if the grounds for the objection are apparent before trial. Other than objections under Rules 402 and 403 of the Utah Rules of Evidence, other objections not listed are waived unless excused by the court for good cause.

(6) Form of disclosure and discovery production. Rule 34 governs the form in which all documents, data compilations, electronically stored information, tangible things, and evidentiary material should be produced under this Rule.

(b) Discovery scope.

(1) In general. Parties may discover any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the claim or defense of any party if the discovery satisfies the standards of proportionality set forth below.

(2) Privileged matters.

(A)Privileged matters that are not discoverable or admissible in any proceeding of any kind or character include:

(i) all information in any form provided during and created specifically as part of a request for an investigation, the investigation, findings, or conclusions of peer review, care review, or quality assurance processes of any organization of health care providers as defined in Utah Code Title 78B, Chapter 3, Part 4, Utah Health Care Malpractice Act, for the purpose of evaluating care provided to reduce morbidity and mortality or to improve the quality of medical care, or for the purpose of peer review of the ethics, competence, or professional conduct of any health care provider; and

(ii) except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(C), (D), or (E), all communications, materials, and information in any form specifically created for or during a medical candor process under Utah Code Title 78B, Chapter 3, Part 4a, Utah Medical Candor Act, including any findings or conclusions from the investigation and any offer of compensation.

(B) Disclosure or use in a medical candor process of any communication, material, or information in any form that contains any information described in paragraph (b)(2)(A)(i) does not waive any privilege or protection against admissibility or discovery of the information under paragraph (b)(2)(A)(i).

(C) Any communication, material, or information in any form that is made or provided in the ordinary course of business, including a medical record or a business record, that is otherwise discoverable or admissible and is not created for or during a medical candor process is not privileged by the use or disclosure of the communication, material or information during a medical candor process.

(D) (i) Any information that is required to be documented in a patient’s medical record under state or federal law is not privileged by the use or disclosure of the information during a medical candor process.

(ii) Information described in paragraph (b)(2)(D)(i) does not include an individual’s mental impressions, conclusions, or opinions that are formed outside the course and scope of the patient’s care and treatment and are used or disclosed in a medial candor process.

(E) (i) Any communication, material or information in any form that is provided to an affected party before the affected party’s written agreement to participate in a medical candor process is not privileged by the use or disclosure of the communication, material, or information during a medical candor process.

(ii) Any communication, material, or information described in paragraph (b)(2)(E)(i) does not include a written notice described in Utah Code section 78B-3-452.

(F) The terms defined in Utah Code section 78B-3-450 apply to paragraphs (b)(2)(A)(ii), (B), (C), (D), and (E).

(G) Nothing in this paragraph (b)(2) shall prevent a party from raising any other privileges provided by law or rule as to the admissibility or discovery of any communication, information, or material described in paragraph (b)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D), or (E).

(3) Proportionality. Discovery and discovery requests are proportional if:

(A) the discovery is reasonable, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the complexity of the case, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues;

(B) the likely benefits of the proposed discovery outweigh the burden or expense;

(C) the discovery is consistent with the overall case management and will further the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of the case;

(D) the discovery is not unreasonably cumulative or duplicative;

(E) the information cannot be obtained from another source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive; and

(F) the party seeking discovery has not had sufficient opportunity to obtain the information by discovery or otherwise, taking into account the parties’ relative access to the information.

(4) Burden. The party seeking discovery always has the burden of showing proportionality and relevance. To ensure proportionality, the court may enter orders under Rule 37.

(5) Electronically stored information. A party claiming that electronically stored information is not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost must describe the source of the electronically stored information, the nature and extent of the burden, the nature of the information not provided, and any other information that will enable other parties to evaluate the claim.

(6) Trial preparation materials. A party may obtain otherwise discoverable documents and tangible things prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or by or for that other party's representative (including the party’s attorney, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent) only upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials and that the party is unable without undue hardship to obtain substantially equivalent materials by other means. In ordering discovery of such materials, the court must protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney or other representative of a party.

(7) Statement previously made about the action. A party may obtain without the showing required in paragraph (b)(5) a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that party. Upon request, a person not a party may obtain without the required showing a statement about the action or its subject matter previously made by that person. If the request is refused, the person may move for a court order under Rule 37. A statement previously made is (A) a written statement signed or approved by the person making it, or (B) a stenographic, mechanical, electronic, or other recording, or a transcription thereof, which is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement by the person making it and contemporaneously recorded.

(8) Trial preparation; experts.

(A) Trial-preparation protection for draft reports or disclosures. Paragraph (b)(6) protects drafts of any report or disclosure required under paragraph (a)(4), regardless of the form in which the draft is recorded.

(B) Trial-preparation protection for communications between a party’s attorney and expert witnesses. Paragraph (b)(6) protects communications between the party’s attorney and any witness required to provide disclosures under paragraph (a)(4), regardless of the form of the communications, except to the extent that the communications:

(i) relate to compensation for the expert’s study or testimony;

(ii) identify facts or data that the party’s attorney provided and that the expert considered in forming the opinions to be expressed; or

(iii) identify assumptions that the party’s attorney provided and that the expert relied on in forming the opinions to be expressed.

(C) Expert employed only for trial preparation. Ordinarily, a party may not, by interrogatories or otherwise, discover facts known or opinions held by an expert who has been retained or specially employed by another party in anticipation of litigation or to prepare for trial and who is not expected to be called as a witness at trial. A party may do so only:

(i) as provided in Rule 35(b); or

(ii) on showing exceptional circumstances under which it is impracticable for the party to obtain facts or opinions on the same subject by other means.

(9) Claims of privilege or protection of trial preparation materials.

(A) Information withheld. If a party withholds discoverable information by claiming that it is privileged or prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial, the party must make the claim expressly and must describe the nature of the documents, communications, or things not produced in a manner that, without revealing the information itself, will enable other parties to evaluate the claim.

(B) Information produced. If a party produces information that the party claims is privileged or prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial, the producing party may notify any receiving party of the claim and the basis for it. After being notified, a receiving party must promptly return, sequester, or destroy the specified information and any copies it has and may not use or disclose the information until the claim is resolved. A receiving party may promptly present the information to the court under seal for a determination of the claim. If the receiving party disclosed the information before being notified, it must take reasonable steps to retrieve it. The producing party must preserve the information until the claim is resolved.

(c) Methods, sequence, and timing of discovery; tiers; limits on standard discovery; extraordinary discovery.

(1) Methods of discovery. Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods: depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property, for inspection and other purposes; physical and mental examinations; requests for admission; and subpoenas other than for a court hearing or trial.

(2) Sequence and timing of discovery. Methods of discovery may be used in any sequence, and the fact that a party is conducting discovery must not delay any other party's discovery. Except for cases exempt under paragraph (a)(3), a party may not seek discovery from any source before that party’s initial disclosure obligations are satisfied.

(3) Definition of tiers for standard discovery. Actions claiming $50,000 or less in damages are permitted standard discovery as described for Tier 1. Actions claiming more than $50,000 and less than $300,000 in damages are permitted standard discovery as described for Tier 2. Actions claiming $300,000 or more in damages are permitted standard discovery as described for Tier 3. Absent an accompanying damage claim for more than $300,000, actions claiming non-monetary relief are permitted standard discovery as described for Tier 2. Domestic relations actions are permitted standard discovery as described for Tier 4.

(4) Definition of damages. For purposes of determining standard discovery, the amount of damages includes the total of all monetary damages sought (without duplication for alternative theories) by all parties in all claims for relief in the original pleadings.

(5) Limits on standard fact discovery. Standard fact discovery per side (plaintiffs collectively, defendants collectively, and third-party defendants collectively) in each tier is as follows. The days to complete standard fact discovery are calculated from the date the first defendant’s first disclosure is due and do not include expert discovery under paragraphs (a)(4)(C) and (D).

Tier

Amount of Damages

Total Fact Deposition Hours

Rule 33 Interrogatories including all discrete subparts

Rule 34 Requests for Production

Rule 36 Requests for Admission

Days to Complete Standard Fact Discovery

1

$50,000 or less

3

0

5

5

120

2

More than $50,000 and less than $300,000 or non-monetary relief

15

10

10

10

180

3

$300,00 or more

30

20

20

20

210

4

Domestic relations actions

4

10

10

10

90


(6) Extraordinary discovery. To obtain discovery beyond the limits established in paragraph (c)(5), a party must:

(A) before the close of standard discovery and after reaching the limits of standard discovery imposed by these rules, file a stipulated statement that extraordinary discovery is necessary and proportional under paragraph (b)(2) and, for each party represented by an attorney, a statement that the attorney consulted with the client about the request for extraordinary discovery;

(B) before the close of standard discovery and after reaching the limits of standard discovery imposed by these rules, file a request for extraordinary discovery under Rule 37(a) or

(C) obtain an expanded discovery schedule under Rule 100A.

(d) Requirements for disclosure or response; disclosure or response by an organization; failure to disclose; initial and supplemental disclosures and responses.

(1) A party must make disclosures and responses to discovery based on the information then known or reasonably available to the party.

(2) If the party providing disclosure or responding to discovery is a corporation, partnership, association, or governmental agency, the party must act through one or more officers, directors, managing agents, or other persons, who must make disclosures and responses to discovery based on the information then known or reasonably available to the party.

(3) A party is not excused from making disclosures or responses because the party has not completed investigating the case, the party challenges the sufficiency of another party's disclosures or responses, or another party has not made disclosures or responses.

(4) If a party fails to disclose or to supplement timely a disclosure or response to discovery, that party may not use the undisclosed witness, document, or material at any hearing or trial unless the failure is harmless or the party shows good cause for the failure.

(5) If a party learns that a disclosure or response is incomplete or incorrect in some important way, the party must timely serve on the other parties the additional or correct information if it has not been made known to the other parties. The supplemental disclosure or response must state why the additional or correct information was not previously provided.

(e) Signing discovery requests, responses, and objections. Every disclosure, request for discovery, response to a request for discovery, and objection to a request for discovery must be in writing and signed by at least one attorney of record or by the party if the party is not represented. The signature of the attorney or party is a certification under Rule11. If a request or response is not signed, the receiving party does not need to take any action with respect to it. If a certification is made in violation of the rule, the court, upon motion or upon its own initiative, may take any action authorized by Rule11 or Rule37(b).

(f) Filing. Except as required by these rules or ordered by the court, a party must not file with the court a disclosure, a request for discovery, or a response to a request for discovery, but must file only the certificate of service stating that the disclosure, request for discovery, or response has been served on the other parties and the date of service.


Advisory Committee Notes

Note Adopted 2011

Disclosure requirements and timing. Rule 26(a)(1).

Not all information will be known at the outset of a case. If discovery is serving its proper purpose, additional witnesses, documents, and other information will be identified. The scope and the level of detail required in the initial Rule 26(a)(1) disclosures should be viewed in light of this reality. A party is not required to interview every witness it ultimately may call at trial in order to provide a summary of the witness’s expected testimony. As the information becomes known, it should be disclosed. No summaries are required for adverse parties, including management level employees of business entities, because opposing lawyers are unable to interview them and their testimony is available to their own counsel. For uncooperative or hostile witnesses any summary of expected testimony would necessarily be limited to the subject areas the witness is reasonably expected to testify about. For example, defense counsel may be unable to interview a treating physician, so the initial summary may only disclose that the witness will be questioned concerning the plaintiff’s diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. After medical records have been obtained, the summary may be expanded or refined.

Subject to the foregoing qualifications, the summary of the witness’s expected testimony should be just that– a summary. The rule does not require prefiled testimony or detailed descriptions of everything a witness might say at trial. On the other hand, it requires more than the broad, conclusory statements that often were made under the prior version of Rule 26(a)(1)(e.g., “The witness will testify about the events in question” or “The witness will testify on causation.”). The intent of this requirement is to give the other side basic information concerning the subjects about which the witness is expected to testify at trial, so that the other side may determine the witness’s relative importance in the case, whether the witness should be interviewed or deposed, and whether additional documents or information concerning the witness should be sought. See RJW Media Inc. v. Heath, 2017 UT App 34, ¶¶ 23-25, 392 P.3d 956. This information is important because of the other discovery limits contained in Rule 26.

Likewise, the documents that should be provided as part of the Rule 26(a)(1) disclosures are those that a party reasonably believes it may use at trial, understanding that not all documents will be available at the outset of a case. In this regard, it is important to remember that the duty to provide documents and witness information is a continuing one, and disclosures must be promptly supplemented as new evidence and witnesses become known as the case progresses.

Early disclosure of damages information is important. Among other things, it is a critical factor in determining proportionality. The committee recognizes that damages often require additional discovery, and typically are the subject of expert testimony. The Rule is not intended to require expert disclosures at the outset of a case. At the same time, the subject of damages should not simply be deferred until expert discovery. Parties should make a good faith attempt to compute damages to the extent it is possible to do so and must in any event provide all discoverable information on the subject, including materials related to the nature and extent of the damages.

The penalty for failing to make timely disclosures is that the evidence may not be used in the party’s case-in-chief. To make the disclosure requirement meaningful, and to discourage sandbagging, parties must know that if they fail to disclose important information that is helpful to their case, they will not be able to use that information at trial. The courts will be expected to enforce them unless the failure is harmless or the party shows good cause for the failure.

The purpose of early disclosure is to have all parties present the evidence they expect to use to prove their claims or defenses, thereby giving the opposing party the ability to better evaluate the case and determine what additional discovery is necessary and proportional.

Expert disclosures and timing. Rule 26(a)(3). Disclosure of the identity and subjects of expert opinions and testimony is automatic under Rule 26(a)(3) and parties are not required to serve interrogatories or use other discovery devices to obtain this information.

Experts frequently will prepare demonstrative exhibits or other aids to illustrate the expert’s testimony at trial, and the costs for preparing these materials can be substantial. For that reason, these types of demonstrative aids may be prepared and disclosed later, as part of the Rule 26(a)(4) pretrial disclosures when trial is imminent.

If a party elects a written report, the expert must provide a signed report containing a complete statement of all opinions the expert will express and the basis and reasons for them. The intent is not to require a verbatim transcript of exactly what the expert will say at trial; instead the expert must fairly disclose the substance of and basis for each opinion the expert will offer. The expert may not testify in a party’s case in chief concerning any matter that is not fairly disclosed in the report. To achieve the goal of making reports a reliable substitute for depositions, courts are expected to enforce this requirement. If a party elects a deposition, rather than a report, it is up to the party to ask the necessary questions to “lock in” the expert’s testimony. But the expert is expected to be fully prepared on all aspects of his/her trial testimony at the time of the deposition and may not leave the door open for additional testimony by qualifying answers to deposition questions.

There are a number of difficulties inherent in disclosing expert testimony that may be offered from fact witnesses. First, there is often not a clear line between fact and expert testimony. Many fact witnesses have scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge, and their testimony about the events in question often will cross into the area of expert testimony. The rules are not intended to erect artificial barriers to the admissibility of such testimony. Second, many of these fact witnesses will not be within the control of the party who plans to call them at trial. These witnesses may not be cooperative, and may not be willing to discuss opinions they have with counsel. Where this is the case, disclosures will necessarily be more limited. On the other hand, consistent with the overall purpose of the 2011 amendments, a party should receive advance notice if their opponent will solicit expert opinions from a particular witness so they can plan their case accordingly. In an effort to strike an appropriate balance, the rules require that such witnesses be identified and the information about their anticipated testimony should include that which is required under Rule 26(a)(1)(A)(ii), which should include any opinion testimony that a party expects to elicit from them at trial. If a party has disclosed possible opinion testimony in its Rule 26(a)(1)(A)(ii) disclosures, that party is not required to prepare a separate Rule 26 (a)(4)(E) disclosure for the witness. And if that disclosure is made in advance of the witness’s deposition, those opinions should be explored in the deposition and not in a separate expert deposition. Otherwise, the timing for disclosure of non-retained expert opinions is the same as that for retained experts under Rule 26(a)(4)(C) and depends on whether the party has the burden of proof or is responding to another expert.

Scope of discovery—Proportionality. Rule 26(b). Proportionality is the principle governing the scope of discovery. Simply stated, it means that the cost of discovery should be proportional to what is at stake in the litigation.

In the past, the scope of discovery was governed by “relevance” or the “likelihood to lead to discovery of admissible evidence.” These broad standards may have secured just results by allowing a party to discover all facts relevant to the litigation. However, they did little to advance two equally important objectives of the rules of civil procedure—the speedy and inexpensive resolution of every action. Accordingly, the former standards governing the scope of discovery have been replaced with the proportionality standards in subpart (b)(1).

The concept of proportionality is not new. The prior rule permitted the Court to limit discovery methods if it determined that “the discovery was unduly burdensome or expensive, taking into account the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, limitations on the parties’ resources, and the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation.” The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure contains a similar provision. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2) (C).

Any system of rules which permits the facts and circumstances of each case to inform procedure cannot eliminate uncertainty. Ultimately, the trial court has broad discretion in deciding whether a discovery request is proportional. The proportionality standards in subpart (b)(2) and the discovery tiers in subpart (c) mitigate uncertainty by guiding that discretion. The proper application of the proportionality standards will be defined over time by trial and appellate courts.

Standard and extraordinary discovery. Rule 26(c). As a counterpart to requiring more detailed disclosures under Rule 26(a), the 2011 amendments place new limitations on additional discovery the parties may conduct. Because the committee expects the enhanced disclosure requirements will automatically permit each party to learn the witnesses and evidence the opposing side will offer in its case-in-chief, additional discovery should serve the more limited function of permitting parties to find witnesses, documents, and other evidentiary materials that are harmful, rather than helpful, to the opponent’s case.

Parties are expected to be reasonable and accomplish as much as they can during standard discovery. A statement of discovery issues may result in additional discovery and sanctions at the expense of a party who unreasonably fails to respond or otherwise frustrates discovery. After the expiration of the applicable time limitation, a case is presumed to be ready for trial. Actions for nonmonetary relief, such as injunctive relief, are subject to the standard discovery limitations of Tier 2, absent an accompanying monetary claim of $300,000 or more, in which case Tier 3 applies.

Consequences of failure to disclose.Rule 26(d). If a party fails to disclose or to supplement timely its discovery responses, that party cannot use the undisclosed witness, document, or material at any hearing or trial, absent proof that non-disclosure was harmless or justified by good cause. More complete disclosures increase the likelihood that the case will be resolved justly, speedily, and inexpensively. Not being able to use evidence that a party fails properly to disclose provides a powerful incentive to make complete disclosures. This is true only if trial courts hold parties to this standard. Accordingly, although a trial court retains discretion to determine how properly to address this issue in a given case, the usual and expected result should be exclusion of the evidence.

Legislative Note

Note adopted 2012

S.J.R. 15

(1) The amended language in paragraph (b)(1) is intended to incorporate long-standing protections against discovery and admission into evidence of privileged matters connected to medical care review and peer review into the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. These privileges, found in both Utah common law and statute, include Sections 26-25-3, 58-13-4, and 58-13-5, UCA, 1953. The language is intended to ensure the confidentiality of peer review, care review, and quality assurance processes and to ensure that the privilege is limited only to documents and information created specifically as part of the processes. It does not extend to knowledge gained or documents created outside or independent of the processes. The language is not intended to limit the court's existing ability, if it chooses, to review contested documents in camera in order to determine whether the documents fall within the privilege. The language is not intended to alter any existing law, rule, or regulation relating to the confidentiality, admissibility, or disclosure of proceedings before the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. The Legislature intends that these privileges apply to all pending and future proceedings governed by court rules, including administrative proceedings regarding licensing and reimbursement.

(2) The Legislature does not intend that the amendments to this rule be construed to change or alter a final order concerning discovery matters entered on or before the effective date of this amendment.

(3) The Legislature intends to give the greatest effect to its amendment, as legally permissible, in matters that are pending on or may arise after the effective date of this amendment, without regard to when the case was filed.

Effective date. Upon approval by a constitutional two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house. [March 6, 2012]


The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.

Page Last modified: 3/29/2022

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