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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Francis Weir was to be an expert witness in litigation. During a deposition, the opposing parties (the plaintiffs) questioned Weir about how much he has charged per hour in the litigation and how many hours he had worked. When asked what percentage of his income came from litigation in the last two years, Weir said he couldn’t answer because he does not subdivide his records. When asked if he could reconstruct his records to reveal the breakdown, Weir said he didn’t feel it was appropriate for the plaintiffs to ask him about his additional income. The plaintiffs filed a motion to compel Weir’s testimony. In opposition to the motion, Weir filed an affidavit in which he again stated his hourly rate and the number of hours he spent in the case. The trial court ordered Weir to give deposition testimony on his litigation-related income for 2002 through 2004, as well as the percentage of the total income this litigation-related income represented. The parties who sought to retain Weir filed for a writ of mandamus to have the trial court’s order set aside. HOLDING:Writ conditionally granted. The court notes that the Texas Supreme Court has held that pretrial discovery of all of a witness’ accounting and financial records, solely for the purpose of impeachment, may be denied. Similarly, the Supreme Court has expressed reluctance to permit uncontrolled and unnecessary discovery of federal income tax returns, the court says. The court adds that privacy concerns are implicated by the discovery sought in this case. Here, the plaintiffs’ interests in obtaining discovery solely for impeachment must be weighed against the witness’ legitimate interest in protecting unrelated financial information. To provide the ordered deposition testimony, the witness must review all his financial records for three years, gather financial information, and calculate a total and a percentage. “Though Weir may be required to provide an estimate, if he knows, of the percentage of his work that involves litigation, a second oral deposition seems unnecessary to obtain an answer to that question. The deposition ordered here would not materially benefit the dispute resolution process in this case in view of the information already available to the parties and the trial court concerning this expert witness.” OPINION:Per curiam; McKeithen, C.J., Gaultney and Horton, JJ.

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