"Fishing Expedition"

 Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
02-Jul-2009

        We received yesterday an opposition (to our motion for production of documents) which argues that our motion should be denied because it was “nothing but a fishing expedition”. It says that we were just fishing because we weren’t even able to specify with details the documents we were requesting; in fact, it seems that we don't even know if the documents we were requesting actually exist, it adds.

        This argument was already thrashed in Republic vs. Sandigandbayan (21 Nov 1991) (and a host of subsequent cases dealing with deposition-discovery issues). The court said, “What is chiefly contemplated is the discovery of every bit of information which may be useful in the preparation for trial, such as the identity and location of persons having knowledge of relevant facts; those relevant facts themselves; and the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things. Hence, the deposition-discovery rules are to be accorded a broad and liberal treatment. No longer can the time-honored cry of "fishing expedition" serve to preclude a party from inquiring into the facts underlying his opponent's case. Mutual knowledge of all the relevant facts gathered by both parties is essential to proper litigation. To that end, either party may compel the other to disgorge whatever facts he has in his possession.”