You served the following request for admission and got this response:
Request: Admit that the second paragraph of the contract attached as Exhibit A states: “… (verbatim quote).” Answer: The document speaks for itself.
Is this an appropriate objection?
Numerous federal courts have held that asserting that a document “speaks for itself” is not a proper objection to a request to admit that a document contains quoted language. In Miller v. Holzmann, 240 F.R.D. 1, 66 Fed. R. Serv. 3d 977 (D.C. Cir. 2006), plaintiff served a request for admission that a document contained language quoted in the request. The defendant objected on the grounds that the document “speaks for itself.” The court held that the objection was improper:
“It is astonishing that the objection that a document speaks for itself, repeated every day in courtrooms across America, has no support whatsoever in the law of evidence. . . . The tautological ‘objection’ that the finder of fact can read the document for itself to see if the quote is accurate is not a legitimate objection but an evasion of the responsibility to either admit or deny a request for admission, unless a legitimate objection can be made or the responding party explains in detail why it can neither admit nor deny the request.” Id. at 4.
https://ncbarblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Blog-Header-1-1030x530.png00NCBARBLOGhttps://ncbarblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Blog-Header-1-1030x530.pngNCBARBLOG2017-11-29 12:58:252019-05-10 13:41:47Documents Do Not 'Speak for Themselves': Defeat Your Opponent's Meaningless Objections to Requests for Admission