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TRCP 47 impacts the discovery process.

Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 47, entitled "Claims for Relief," was revised in order to help courts process cases into expedited and non-expedited actions.

Here's what you need to know in a nutshell: If you do not comply with the rule, you cannot conduct discovery. Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 47 requires that an original pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original petition, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, contain: (a) a short statement of the cause of action sufficient to give fair notice of the claim involved; (b) a statement that the damages sought are within the jurisdictional limits of the court; (c) except in suits governed by the Family Code, a statement that the party seeks:

(1) only monetary relief of $100,000 or less, including damages of any kind, penalties, costs, expenses, pre-judgment interest, and attorney fees; or

(2) monetary relief of $100,000 or less and non-monetary relief; or

(3) monetary relief over $100,000 but not more than $200,000; or

(4) monetary relief over $200,000 but not more than $1,000,000; or

(5) monetary relief over $1,000,000; and

(d) a demand for judgment for all the other relief to which the party deems himself entitled.

Therefore, a wrongful death or a paralysis case pleading will most likely include a statement for monetary relief over $1,000,000. According to the rule, a party that fails to comply with (c) may not conduct discovery until the party's pleading is amended to comply. Therefore, if you are wondering why opposing counsel is not responding to your letter of conference requesting a response, this may be the reason.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

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