Michael Sean Quinn*

In Requests for Production, a request is sometimes worded “All documents related to X.” X might be an action, an omission, a practice, an event, or a state of affairs.  In interrogatories, a question might be like this: “All facts related to X.”

 Questions or requests like this are not a great idea.  The reason is simple: the concept of being related to is simply too broad, not to mention fuzzy. 

All of these points also apply to the phrase “pertaining to.” This is true for both requests for production and to interrogatories. 

Also, keep in mind that if A is related to B and B is related to C, the chances are that there are senses in which A is related to C.  The length of the chain can be quite long. The same thing applies to “pertaining to.” 

This worry can be modified a bit by restricting the interrogatory or request for to production to a very narrow topic, e.g.,  “all facts supporting sentence 14 in your complaint/petition/affirmative defense, and so forth.  In this context, consider using the words “supporting,” “providing evidence for,” “evidencing,” (The last of these three is a problem since there may not be such a word, but time are “achanging.” After all, in politics we now talk of “primary-ing” someone running for office.  As a semantic conservative, I must confess that I do not like using “primary” as a verb and the general tendency to convert nouns into verbs should be resisted.  We must still recognize that facts are facts, including facts about linguistic changes. It should go without saying, of course, that only facts are facts, and hence that there is no such thing as a false fact, or a fictional fact, or an alternative fact.  Those ideas are the low life, the pig sty, and the shit-house of postmodernism. And that’s a fact.

        *Michael Sean Quinn, Ph.D, J.D., Etc.
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