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Truck lawyer tip: When defense lawyers object to discovery

Written by Steve Gursten Posted August 6th, 2015

Remind the court that the government only gives 48 hours to respond, we give 30 days

It’s becoming increasingly common for defendants to file boiler plate objections regarding requests for necessary legal discovery in truck accident injury lawsuits.

Unfortunately, defense lawyers object because it works. Far too many plaintiff trucking lawyers are falling for this – and as a result, allowing the defendants to fail to produce information that can hold the key to understanding the trucking company’s negligence and causes of the wreck at hand.

So here’s our Roundtable TIP: If you’re asking for legal discovery to be produced in 28-30 days and the defendant contends such a request is unreasonable, responses and motions filed before the court to compel should remind the trial judge that the federal government almosy always gives trucking companies just 48 hours to respond to produce this same information.

Therefore, a request to produce that requires production within 28-30 days is completely reasonable.

See FMSCR § 390.29.

Location of records or documents.(a) A motor carrier with multiple offices or terminals may maintain the records and documents required by this subchapter at its principal place of business, a regional office, or driver work-reporting location unless otherwise specified in this subchapter.(b) All records and documents required by this subchapter which are maintained at a regional office or driver work-reporting location shall be made available for inspection upon request by a special agent or authorized representative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at the motor carrier’s principal place of business or other location specified by the agent or representative within 48 hours after a request is made. Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays are excluded from the computation of the 48-hour period of time.

Related info:

Should commercial trucks be equipped with dash cams for discovery?

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About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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