Texas new discovery rules
Texas New Discovery Rules

I feel like everyone should know by now that we have new discovery rules that have changed the game on a lot of things. Example, we don’t *send* a request for disclosure anymore. Instead, there’s a set of mandatory disclosures that are automatic and have deadlines with serious consequences. Much like the federal discovery rules, Texas has this list that you have to just turn over. This includes any documents that support your claims or defenses. And Rule 215 automatic exclusion applies if you don’t. So you don’t want to be that lawyer who gets to a temporary hearing and hasn’t responded to disclosures and gets all of your evidence stricken. Don’t be that guy! Your malpractice insurance carrier thanks you. As one Judge pointed out, the Texas Supreme Court’s COVID rules allows judges wide latitude in softening most of the harsh blows that might happen, but one of these days those COVID orders are going to disappear and things will be back to normal rules with limited discretion.

Anyway, here’s the powerpoint: A Practical Guide to the New Mandatory Discovery

If you’re bar association or group of lawyers wants me to present my approved 1.0 hour CLE talk about the new discovery rules, let me know! I’ve done this presentation to many bar groups all over the state via zoom. I will also come in person if you’re group is local OR if you are paying my travel expenses.

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.