Sample Request for Admissions
- Plaintiff's First Request - Auto Accident
- Plaintiff's Second Request - Auto Accident
- Plaintiff's First Request - Uninsured Motorist Claim
- Plaintiff's First Request - Medical Malpractice
- Plaintiff's First Request - Medical Malpractice #2
- Plaintiff's First Request - Slip and Fall
- Plaintiff's First Request - Product Liability
- Plaintiffs' First Request - Dog Bite
- Plaintiff's Response - Medical Malpractice
- Defendant's Response - Car Crash
- Defendant's Response - Truck Crash
- Defendant's Response - Medical Malpractice (and our Motion to Compel or Deem Requests Admitted, a motion that seemingly needs to be filed almost every time you file RFAs)
We have long maintained that filing requests for admission and genuineness of documents makes sense in every case. You have a chance of hitting some real home runs. But even if all you accomplish is establishing distinct elements of your burden of proof, it is a sound investment of what is usually very little time. Defense lawyers, who otherwise love papering us to death, rarely use requests to admit to advance their defense in litigation.
As a starting point, our law firm also uses RFAs to confirm that there are no issues as to the genuineness of any documents. One less issue you have to deal with at trial. Our first trial at Miller & Zois the defense lawyer pushed the question of whether documents were authentic. It threw us off our game for approximately 10 seconds but we vowed to never have that problem again.
Requests for Admission and Alternative Interrogatories
Another proper use of requests for admission is to follow up critical denials with alternative interrogatories, drafted in light of counsel's answers to requests for admission. This is an easy way to flush out form denials.
One of our lawyers, learned this tactic during another life as defense counsel, remembering well trying to avoid the "rubber meets the road" of having to give legitimate answers. So he denied most of the requests and provided no real information to avoid making strategic commitments.
It did not work. Plaintiff's counsel followed up with good alternative interrogatories that went to all of the issues the defendant was trying to avoid taking a clear-cut position on at that stage of the case. They were just really tough questions to answer. The lesson was learned: we file RFAs in virtually every tort case with our lawsuit along with interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and a deposition notice for the defendant.Denials Can Be Your Friend
RFAs often do not receive honest answers with "Deny Deny Deny" defense lawyers. "Plaintiff was injured in the accident" is a good example. If this request is denied, smart counsel will read the answers to a jury which is consistent with a common theme used in many cases: the defendant is refusing to accept any responsibility, even for painfully obvious facts that anyone reasonable would concede. Juries often suspect this as they get a flavor for the trial and the tactics the lawyers are using. But the "I deny you were injured" when the plaintiff was in a severe vehicle crash can turn a suspicion of defense deceit into a certainty.
Make sure when you draft these requests you do yourself a favor and ask real questions that are narrowly tailored to all of the facts. Requests like "Admit that everything in this deposition transcript is true," is not the kind of request anyone is going to answer, or a judge is going to make you answer. The scope of the rule also does not require the answering party to give opinions of fact.
Finally, and this is the hardest part, you have to follow up with the answering party on your written requests. Some plaintiffs' lawyers craft excellent requests for admission and then get ridiculous objections and do nothing about them. Defense lawyers have been conditioned to know that most attorneys will not hold their feet to the fire and demand real answers in good faith. You need to be the lawyer that keeps the pedal on the floor and pushes for a real answer to the sought admission.How Courts Deal with Requests for Admission
- Requests for Admission in Maryland: How Late is Too Late?
- Advice on Answering Requests for Admission (an article few defense lawyers have read)