The Fort Worth COA issued In re SSCP Management, Inc., No. 02-19-00098-CV, 2019 WL 1758502 --- S.W.3d ---- (Ft. Worth COA 2019), a mandamus opinion on the scope of permissible discovery under the Texas Anti-Slapp. First, the COA found that good cause existed for discovery in accordance with Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §27.006(b). However, the scope of discovery sought and allowed (by the Trial Court) was enormous, and deserves quoting in full:
It allows Sutherland fifty-nine requests for production from four of the six Defendants, fifty-eight requests for production from two of the six Defendants, eleven interrogatories from SRS Real Estate, seven interrogatories from SSCP, and at least six four-hour depositions from each of Defendants’ corporate representatives on the original, unmodified forty-three deposition topics prior to the hearing on the TCPA Motions to Dismiss.
Given that there six (6) defendants and ten (10) causes of action, it is not completely surprising as to the size of the requests. However, the sheer breadth of the topics and the absence of limitation to targeted issues lead the COA to grant mandamus. While the COA offered some guidance as to what it, and other sister COAs had allowed, it offered no concrete parameters for what would suffice in case of this size and complexity.
Since the COA quoted Yogi Berra at the outset, I’ll close with Yogi (one of my favorite catchers of all time).
As a warning to Texas Anti-Slapp practitioners out there:
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
Quote No. 9 of his 50 greatest. https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/03/the-50-greatest-yogi-berra-quotes