What are interrogatories?
Interrogatories are a formal set of written questions sent from one litigant to another that must be answered before a trial case. Questions found in interrogatories usually help to clarify certain evidence or help in distinguishing important facts relevant to a particular case. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure helps alleviate potential interrogatory bloat by granting individual jurisdictions the power to limit interrogatories to twenty-five questions per party, although they can allow more if they choose to do so. Many common cases have form interrogatories associated with them. These pre-printed forms contain the standard questions usually asked in any particular case, for example, asking questions about the general background information of the litigants. Importantly, interrogatories responses typically must be signed by the litigant, not just by their attorney. Interrogatories are used in intellectual property litigation for patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights.
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Dr. Thomas R. (Terry) Williamson III is a Patent Attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.
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