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What are Rule 26 Initial Disclosures?

what are rule 26 initial disclosures

Rule 26 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure deals with discovery. Discovery is simply the method of gathering information from the opposing party. During a divorce, Rule 26.1 applies.  This requires both parties, without being asked, to provide a financial declaration with supporting documents such as paystubs, bank statements, and tax returns. This is to ensure that both parties are able to negotiate their rights with a complete understanding of the financial circumstances of the other party.

Preparing the financial declaration is generally the most burdensome endeavor that the clietn will have to undergo. It is important the financial declaration be supported with the right documents and accurate. Many judges and commissioners will continue a hearing if you have not complied with Rule 26. For instance, if you are requesting alimony, but you don’t file with the Court a copy of your financial declaration, you can be all but certain the commissioner will “reserve” the issue of alimony until full compliance with Rule 26. That just means that the commissioner is not going to make a ruling at that time. You need to file your financial declaration and then request another hearing.

Providing thorough disclosures helps you in many ways. First, it helps your divorce lawyer know more about your circumstances. Second, when you follow the rules and do a good job, you build credibility with the Court. When you are able to provide the judge with a clean, well-prepared financial declaration, you instantly gain some credibility. Many Utah divorce lawyers try to artificially inflate numbers on the financial declaration, claiming that their client’s expenses are higher than they really are. This is a mistake. For example, if you claim $400 in gasoline per month but you drive a Toyota Prius, do you think the judge or commissioner will think that you are being honest? That means you are driving around 6,000 miles a month or 200 miles a day, every single day.

On the other hand, NEVER claim that your expenses are lower than they really are. This could potentially lock you into either paying a large alimony award, or not receiving an alimony award big enough to cover your expenses (depending on whether you are going to be the payee or payor of alimony).

Premise Liability Personal Injury

Premise liability is a broad term that includes any harm caused to an individual who is on the property of another. The most well-known type of premise liability actions is a “slip-and-fall” where a person is injured due to a dangerous condition such as ice on a side walk or water on the floor. Premise liability cases extend much further however. They can include things such as falling trees, negligence of other guests on the property, or any other dangerous condition.

The level of liability depends on the designation of the visitor. If you are a customer at a grocery store, the store owes you an extremely high duty of care. If you are visiting a friend’s house, the friend will owe you a smaller duty of care. If a trespasser is injured, the owner of the property is potentially not liable. However, even trespassers can recover from certain dangerous conditions created by the owner (like a vicious dog used to protect property).

If you have been injured while on the property of an individual or business, give us call. During the initial consultation we can determine whether or not the land owner owed you a duty of care, and whether that duty was breached. Premise liability is an important area of personal injury law. It helps land owners take precautions so that more people are not injured as a result of their negligence.

These cases are often very time sensitive. Evidence is necessary in order to prosecute your case. Frequently, if you wait too long to seek an attorney, that evidence can be gone. For example, video surveillance might be deleted after a week or two. Unlike many other areas of personal injury law, the evidence does not tend to remain for a very long period of time.

Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506