No American civil discovery for now

Awhile back (may have been a year ago now) I mentioned that the Judicial Yuan was pondering the idea of introducing American style civil discovery processes into Taiwan’s civil procedure. I heard the other day from one of the folks over there that that plan has been shelved. “It is not time” being the conclusion of the committee.

So put your form interrogatories and request for documents away—you won’t be needing them anytime soon.

On a broader note I was amused to see that the nitwits over at the Judicial Yuan are well on their way to fouling up civil procedure just like they did criminal procedure. They have this very “sick” obsession with American legal processes that compels them to randomly pick up things from American law and drop them down in Taiwans pseudo-German system.

I wish we could go back to the Qing with the Imperial Legal Code—really, no fooling, it worked quite well here in Taiwan all through the 1700s. At least everyone understood that legal system.

Herr Dr. Brian
Retro-Reformer at Law

Thanks for the update Brian. I’m sorry, but not surprised, that the introduction of US-style discovery is being delayed. That’s one of the great things about litigation in the US – that the attorneys on both sides have an opportunity to ask extensive questions of the other side and request extensive documents, lawyer to lawyer, not burdening the judge except in the case of dispute, so that when they finally appear in the courtroom they each know the facts fairly well and can present the case to the judge or the jury without being completely ignorant about the case or, more often, will settle the case without going to trial because they know the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions, and because the courtrooms are all overcrowded and the judges are too busy, all of that is a good thing.

Of course the greatest drawback is that, with the attorneys spending so much time on the discovery process, it can be very expensive. But the alternative (the Taiwan method), of appearing before the judge basically clueless about the facts of the case, and hoping that the judge will be wise enough and diligent enough (both unlikely) to demand discovery responses from the other party (at best in a random, haphazard fashion), seems utterly unacceptable to me. It’s a pathetic system.

Can you provide more detailed info on who rejected the idea for now, why, and if any formal proclamations have been made or will be made regarding looking into the matter and/or subsequently dropping the idea? Thanks.

As to the specifics of how, when and why; those secrets are kept within the Taiwanese Star Chamber—I am not kidding, most of what is done by the Judicial Yuan that matters–is done behind closed doors. It is like a witches Sabbath, you have to know another witch to be admitted to the conclaves. The public pronouncements of the Judicial Yuan are a never ending source of laughs for me because of both their stilted english and their utter horseshit.

Now to answer your question more directly, I do not know the whys and wherefores of it; mostly because I did not ask. Civil procedure reform in Taiwan is a whole other nightmare that I somewhat hesitate to involve myself in.

If you really need to know I can look into it in more detail, which I would be happy to do.

take care,

In addition to the General Objections stated previously, Chaon objects to this interrogatory as containing two independent interrogatories. Chaon will only answer twenty-five interrogatories as required by FED. R. CIV. P. 33(a).

I think you’re confusing the Rules of the Supreme Court Ordinance 53 (et seq.) with a small furry animal so help me God. Amen.

Chaon I completely think just like you.