Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Amendments to CR 8.01(2) Being Considered by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is currently considering an amendment to CR 8.01(2). This section allows a party to obtain information in interrogatories as to the amount of unliquidated damages claimed by a plaintiff. The amount claimed shall not exceed the last amount stated. The amendment would essentially allow a party to amend this amount at any time before the close of evidence at trial. Once done, neither party could put into evidence any reference to the amount previously stated in interrogatories.

Everyone who is familiar with Fratzke knows the harsh result this rule can have on parties who do not comply. However, the amendment renders the rule useless. If a party can amend the amount claimed, at anytime before the close of evidence, what good does it serve to ask them before hand. The harsh result of the rule is the motive for compliance. The law is fraught with rules and penalties for not complying with those rules. This one shouldn't be any different. I can't help but think that if as much time and effort went into complying with the rule as went into trying to avoid it, there wouldn't even be an issue.

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