RULE 1.280. GENERAL PROVISIONS GOVERNING DISCOVERY - Florida Rules of Civil Procedure- Florida Rules of Court Procedure (2022)

(a) Discovery Methods. 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; and requests for admission. Unless the court orders otherwise and under subdivision (c) of this rule, the frequency of use of these methods is not limited, except as provided in rules 1.200, 1.340, and 1.370.

(b) Scope of Discovery. Unless otherwise limited by order ofthe court in accordance with these rules, the scope of discovery is as follows:

(1) In General. Parties may obtain discovery regarding anymatter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter of the pendingaction, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seekingdiscovery or the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence,description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents,or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons havingknowledge of any discoverable matter. It is not ground for objection that theinformation sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information soughtappears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(2) Indemnity Agreements. A party may obtain discovery ofthe existence and contents of any agreement under which any person may beliable to satisfy part or all of a judgment that may be entered in the actionor to indemnify or to reimburse a party for payments made to satisfy thejudgment. Information concerning the agreement is not admissible in evidence attrial by reason of disclosure.

(3) Electronically Stored Information. A party may obtaindiscovery of electronically stored information in accordance with these rules.

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(4) Trial Preparation: Materials. Subject to the provisions of subdivision (b)(5) of this rule, a party may obtain discovery of documents and tangible things otherwise discoverable under subdivision (b)(1) of this rule and prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or by or for that party’s representative, including that party’s attorney, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent, only upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has need of the materials in the preparation of the case and is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means. In ordering discovery of the materials when the required showing has been made, the court shall protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney or other representative of a party concerning the litigation. Without the required showing a party may obtain a copy of a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that party. Upon request without the required showing a person not a party may obtain a copy of a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that person. If the request is refused, the person may move for an order to obtain a copy. The provisions of rule 1.380(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred as a result of making the motion. For purposes of this paragraph, a statement previously made is a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it, or a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other recording or transcription of it that is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement by the person making it and contemporaneously recorded.

(5) Trial Preparation: Experts. Discovery of facts known andopinions held by experts, otherwise discoverable under the provisions ofsubdivision (b)(1) of this rule and acquired or developed in anticipation oflitigation or for trial, may be obtained only as follows:

(A) (i) By interrogatories a party may require any otherparty to identify each person whom the other party expects to call as an expertwitness at trial and to state the subject matter on which the expert isexpected to testify, and to state the substance of the facts and opinions towhich the expert is expected to testify and a summary of the grounds for eachopinion.

(ii) Any person disclosed by interrogatories or otherwise as a person expected to be called as an expert witness at trial may be deposed in accordance with rule 1.390 without motion or order of court.

(iii) A party may obtain the following discovery regardingany person disclosed by interrogatories or otherwise as a person expected to becalled as an expert witness at trial:

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1. The scope of employment in the pending case and thecompensation for such service.

2. The expert’s general litigation experience, including thepercentage of work performed for plaintiffs and defendants.

3. The identity of other cases, within a reasonable timeperiod, in which the expert has testified by deposition or at trial.

4. An approximation of the portion of the expert’sinvolvement as an expert witness, which may be based on the number of hours,percentage of hours, or percentage of earned income derived from serving as anexpert witness; however, the expert shall not be required to disclose his orher earnings as an expert witness or income derived from other services.

An expert may be required to produce financial and businessrecords only under the most un-usual or compelling circumstances and may not becompelled to compile or produce nonexistent documents. Upon motion, the courtmay order further discovery by other means, subject to such restrictions as toscope and other provisions pursuant to subdivision (b)(5)(C) of this ruleconcerning fees and expenses as the court may deem appropriate.

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(B) A party may discover facts known or opinions held by an expert who has been retained or specially employed by another party in anticipation of litigation or preparation for trial and who is not expected to be called as a witness at trial, only as provided in rule 1.360(b) or upon a showing of exceptional circumstances under which it is impracticable for the party seeking discovery to obtain facts or opinions on the same subject by other means.

(C) Unless manifest injustice would result, the court shallrequire that the party seeking discovery pay the expert a reasonable fee fortime spent in responding to discovery under subdivisions (b)(5)(A) and(b)(5)(B) of this rule; and concerning discovery from an expert obtained undersubdivision (b)(5)(A) of this rule the court may require, and concerning discoveryobtained under subdivision (b)(5)(B) of this rule shall require, the partyseeking discovery to pay the other party a fair part of the fees and expensesreasonably incurred by the latter party in obtaining facts and opinions fromthe expert.

(D) As used in these rules an expert shall be an expert witness as defined in rule 1.390(a).

(6) Claims of Privilege or Protection of Trial PreparationMaterials. When a party withholds information otherwise discoverable underthese rules by claiming that it is privileged or subject to protection as trialpreparation material, the party shall make the claim expressly and shalldescribe the nature of the documents, communications, or things not produced ordisclosed in a manner that, without revealing information itself privileged orprotected, will enable other parties to assess the applicability of theprivilege or protection.

(c) Protective Orders. Upon motion by a party or by the person from whom discovery is sought, and for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending may make any order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense that justice requires, including one or more of the following: (1) that the discovery not be had; (2) that the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time or place; (3) that the discovery may be had only by a method of discovery other than that selected by the party seeking discovery; (4) that certain matters not be inquired into, or that the scope of the discovery be limited to certain matters; (5) that discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the court; (6) that a deposition after being sealed be opened only by order of the court; (7) that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way; and (8) that the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened as directed by the court. If the motion for a protective order is denied in whole or in part, the court may, on such terms and conditions as are just, order that any party or person provide or permit discovery. The provisions of rule 1.380(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.

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(d) Limitations on Discovery of Electronically StoredInformation.

(1) A person may object to discovery of electronicallystored information from sources that the person identifies as not reasonablyaccessible because of burden or cost. On motion to compel discovery or for aprotective order, the person from whom discovery is sought must show that theinformation sought or the format requested is not reasonably accessible becauseof undue burden or cost. If that showing is made, the court may nonethelessorder the discovery from such sources or in such formats if the requestingparty shows good cause. The court may specify conditions of the discovery,including ordering that some or all of the expenses incurred by the person fromwhom discovery is sought be paid by the party seeking the discovery.

(2) In determining any motion involving discovery ofelectronically stored information, the court must limit the frequency or extentof discovery otherwise allowed by these rules if it determines that (i) thediscovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtainedfrom another source or in another manner that is more convenient, lessburdensome, or less expensive; or (ii) the burden or expense of the discoveryoutweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount incontroversy, the parties’ resources, the importance of the issues at stake inthe action, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues.

(e) Sequence and Timing of Discovery. Except as provided insubdivision (b)(5) or unless the court upon motion for the convenience ofparties and witnesses and in the interest of justice orders otherwise, methodsof discovery may be used in any sequence, and the fact that a party isconducting discovery, whether by deposition or otherwise, shall not delay anyother party’s discovery.

(f) Supplementing of Responses. A party who has responded toa request for discovery with a response that was complete when made is under noduty to supplement the response to include information thereafter acquired.

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(g) Court Filing of Documents and Discovery. Informationobtained during discovery shall not be filed with the court until such time asit is filed for good cause. The requirement of good cause is satisfied onlywhere the filing of the information is allowed or required by anotherapplicable rule of procedure or by court order. All filings of discoverydocuments shall comply with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.425. Thecourt shall have authority to impose sanctions for violation of this rule.

FAQs

What is the proper scope of discovery in a Florida civil proceeding? ›

“Our rules of civil procedure broadly allow parties to obtain discovery of 'any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter of the pending action,' whether the discovery would be admissible at trial, or is merely 'reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Do you file discovery responses with the court in Florida? ›

Discovery responses are not filed with the court. Information obtained during discovery is not filed until such time as it is filed for good cause. This means that the requirement of good cause is satisfied only where the filing is allowed or required by another rule or court order.

How Long Does defendant have to respond to discovery in Florida? ›

5. Discovery Served with the Statement of Claim / Complaint If a written discovery request is served upon a Defendant contemporaneously with Plaintiff's complaint, Defendant must serve its responses to the discovery within 45 days of the date of service of Plaintiff's Complaint.

What is boecher discovery? ›

The scope of discovery directed to a party under Boecher

The issue in Boecher focused on whether Rule 1.280 and Elkins prevented a party from obtaining discovery regarding the extent of the opponent's relationship with the expert witness from the party itself.

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