Requests for admissions are the discovery device that is often overlooked. Perhaps that is because requests for admission are really not a discovery device. Although CR 36, the court rule governing requests for admission, is grouped with discovery rules, a request for admission does not seek the discovery of information, but instead seeks concessions that can be used as evidence at trial. Well-drafted requests for admissions can be used to narrow the issues for discovery and trial, and can be a useful tool to reduce the cost of litigation.
CR 36 allows requests for admission “that relate to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law to fact.” The rule does not permit requests for concessions as to pure questions of law. Courts have struggled to define when a request is objectionable because it seeks a pure legal conclusion and when a request is permissible because it calls for the application of law to fact.
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