HCA and HCA Lawyers Have Been Violating Texas Rule193.7 for Many Years. That’s a Big Deal.

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 Published:  Dec 9, 2022
(Header Image is Personal Injury Lawyer Tim Riley, who alerted me of this issue based on his objections, which you’ll read below)

Mark Burke, Plaintiff  (“Plaintiff”), files this “Objection to Defendant’s Repetitive Boilerplate Violation of Rule 193.7”, when Serpe Andrews, PLLC (“HCA Lawyers”) are responsible for filing answers:

IN  RE BURKE v. HCA

Nicole G. Andrews, Partner, Texas Bar No. 00792335 and Madison J. Addicks, Associate, Texas Bar No. 24132017

On November 17, 2022, defendant KPH-CONSOLIDATION INC (DBA HCA HOUSTON HEALTHCARE KINGWOOD), served notice[1], signed by Nicole G. Andrews[2] and Madison J. Addicks[3] on November 17, 2022, and purportedly pursuant to TEX. R. CIV. PROC. 193.7, of their intent to use at any pre-trial proceeding or trial,

[1] Exhibit: Dr. Who 3. , specifically at “Answer Jury Demand, Page 2, 5. RULE 193.7 NOTICE”.

[2] Exhibit: Serpe Andrews Team as at Dec 8, 2022, Bates No. TEAMHCA002SA.

[3] Exhibit: Serpe Andrews Team as at Dec 8, 2022, Bates No. TEAMHCA012SA.

“any and all documents produced in response to written discovery may be used as evidence in this case….”.

Plaintiff objects to defendants’ overreaching blanket designations as violating the specificity requirement of Rule 193.7. See; In re Ford Motor Co., No. 13-22-00083-CV, at *1 (Tex. App. Aug. 26, 2022)

(“Rule 193.7 is a tool designed to streamline the authentication process, and that it should neither be used as a shield nor as a sword.”)

TEX. R. CIV. PROC. 193.7 provides as follows:

“A party’s production of a document in response to written discovery authenticates the document for use against that party in any pretrial proceeding or at trial unless – within ten days or a longer or shorter time ordered by the court, after the producing party has actual notice that the document will be used – the party objects to the authenticity of the document, or any part of it, stating the specific basis for objection. An objection must be either on the record or in writing and must have a good faith factual and legal basis. An objection made to the authenticity of only part of a document does not affect the authenticity of the remainder. If objection is made, the party attempting to use the document should be given a reasonable opportunity to establish its authenticity.”

This rule places the initial burden of identification on the party intending to use at hearing or trial documents produced by opposing counsel.  Once identified, the burden shifts to the responding party to determine whether there is a good faith factual or legal basis to object to the authenticity of any identified document or any portion of that document.

This mandatory procedure clearly infers a requirement of specificity in the designation as without same it would be impossible for the responding party to make the determination required by the rule and raise a timely objection. TEX. R. CIV. PROC. 193.7; In re Ford Motor Co., No. 13-22-00083-CV, 2022 Tex. App. LEXIS 6440, 2022 WL 3704628 (Tex. App.–Corpus Christi 2022, orig. proc.)

(“We conclude that Coll’s notice fails to comply with the plain meaning of the text of Rule 193.7, which requires ‘actual notice’ that a document ‘will be’ used. The terms of Rule 193.7 do not contemplate a preemptive and prophylactic notice regarding self-authentication of ‘any and all’ documents produced that ‘may’ be used at a pretrial hearing or at trial….”).

SERPE ANDREWS, PLLC’s BOILERPLATE VIOLATION OF RULE 193.7 TO GAIN AN UNLAWFUL ADVANTAGE OVER UNWITTING LITIGANTS EVIDENT IN ALL RANDOMLY SAMPLED LAWSUITS

Plaintiff conducted a sampling of  cases. It quickly became clear that all of the Answers filed by HCA and HCA Lawyers, violate Rule 193.7 to gain an unfair advantage in litigation. This has been the situation as far back as Plaintiff can visibly see e.g., many years. Plaintiff’s visibility is only hampered by docket archiving.

Rule 193.7 is a core and critical legal rule. Amongst its application, Rule 193.7 pertains to discovery, which sets the evidentiary standard[4], and

[4] For civil cases, the burden of proof is based on a preponderance of the evidence. The evidence must convince the judge that it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the act of which they are accused.

aids litigants and counsel in avoiding unconstitutional and violative ‘surprises’ before trial and/or other oral settings before the court.

Below, Plaintiff provides a small sampling of cases, with each pleading signed by senior partner or founding partner, including Nicole G. Andrews and John Serpe.

John Salvatore “John” Serpe, Partner, Texas Bar No. 18037400

See; 201674619 – SANTIAGO, ROCIO (INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT FRIEND OF XXXXXX XXXXXX) vs. HCA (Court 190), Defendants’ Mainland Medical Center D/B/A Woman’s Care of Mainland and Woman’s Care of Mainland’s Answer to Plaintiff’s Original Petition Demand for Jury Trial, and request for Disclosure[1] signed by John Serpe[2], founding Partner and Kaitlin R. Lawrence on December 2, 2016.

Gerald E. Castillo, Partner, Texas Bar No. 24012399

See; 202209737[3] – HELLER, DESIREE vs. SINGLA, NEETA (M D) (Court 133), Defendants’ Answer to Jury Demand[4] signed by Gerald Castillo[5]  and Corbett L. Enright on May 20, 2022. Note; there are two separate objections to the 193.7 boilerplate violations filed by Texas lawyer Tim Riley[6].

[1] Exhibit: Violation of Rule 193.7 in  201674619 –  SANTIAGO, ROCIO Case ; Identifying blanket designation; Bates No. ROCIO004VIOLATION.

[2] Exhibit: Serpe Andrews Team as at Dec 8, 2022, Bates No. TEAMHCA001SA.

[3] Exhibit: 2022 Heller Parties Docket.

[4] Exhibit: Violation of Rule 193.7 in 202209737 – HELLER, DESIREE Case; Identifying blanket designation; Bates No. HELLER005VIOLATION and HELLER006VIOLATION.

[5] Exhibit: Serpe Andrews Team as at Dec 8, 2022, Bates No. TEAMHCA004SA.

[6] Exhibit: Lawyer Riley Heller Case.

The first objection[1] on May 23, 2022 and the second objection[2] on September 19, 2022.

Nicole G. Andrews, Partner, Texas Bar No. 00792335

See; 202021253 – ZHANG, SHIZHONG vs. CHCA WEST HOUSTON L P (DBA HCA HOUSTON HEALTHCARE WEST F/K/A WEST (Court 189), Defendant CHCA West Houston LP d/b/a HCA Houston Healthcare West d/b/a HCA Houston West’s Original Answer Jury Demand and Requests for Disclosure[3], signed by Nicole G. Andrews[4] and A. Madison Dini, on May 4, 2020.

[1] Exhibit: 1st Notice of Violation in Heller.

[2] Exhibit: 2nd Notice of Violation in Heller.

[3] Exhibit: Violation of Rule 193.7 in 202021253 – ZHANG, SHIZHONG Case ; Identifying blanket designation; Bates No. ZHANG004VIOLATION.

[4] Exhibit: Serpe Andrews Team as at Dec 8, 2022, Bates No. TEAMHCA002SA.

Nicole G. Andrews, Partner, Texas Bar No. 00792335 and Christopher “Chris” M. Knudsen, Texas Bar No. 24041268

See; 201525007 – SCOTT, CARL EUGENE (INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF vs. KPH CONSOLIDATION INC (Court 133), Defendant KPH Consolidation, Inc. d/b/a Kingwood Medical Center’s Original Answer and Jury Demand[1] signed by Nicole G. Andrews[2] and Chris M. Knudsen[3] on May 29, 2015.

Margaret L. Layrisson, Partner, Texas Bar No. 24070099 and Dylan W. Bass, Associate, Texas Bar No. 24129304

See; 202256489 – MILLER, TROY (INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE vs. HCA HOUSTON HEALTHCARE KINGWOOD

[1] Exhibit: Violation of Rule 193.7 in 201525007 – SCOTT, CARL EUGENE Case ;

Identifying blanket designation; Bates No. VIOLATION005HCA.

[2] Exhibit: Serpe Andrews Team as at Dec 8, 2022, Bates No. TEAMHCA002SA.

[3] Exhibit: Serpe Andrews Team as at Dec 8, 2022, Bates No. TEAMHCA006SA.

(Court 157), Defendants’ Answer to Jury Demand[1] signed by Margaret L. Layrisson[2], Partner, and Dylan W. Bass[3], Associate, on October 10, 2022.

NOT ONLY IS IT A RULES VIOLATION, BUT ALSO A CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION

See; “How Texas Court Rules Are Made”[4] By Nathan L. Hecht, Martha G. Newton, and Kennon L. Wooten; TEXAS COURT RULES: HISTORY & PROCESS, § 1.01 The Supreme Court’s Rulemaking Authority[5].

RELIEF REQUESTED

Plaintiff requests (i) this Court Order immediate correction of HCA’s Original Answer; “Defendant HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood’s Original Answer and Jury Demand”[1], or in the alternative, strike the Answer; (ii) Plaintiff respectfully suggests, releasing an internal memo attaching any Order herein, providing notice to Judges presiding on each Civil Court in Harris County District Court[2], alerting the Courts about the violation of Rule 193.7 in every active case involving HCA and HCA lawyers in Harris County District Court so corrective action and/or sanctions or other discipline against HCA and/or HCA Lawyers may be processed, protecting and preventing further harm to litigants and citizens in Texas Courts; (iii) Issue

[1] Exhibit: Dr. Who 3. , specifically at “Answer Jury Demand, Page 2, 5. RULE 193.7 NOTICE”.

[2] Exhibit: Harris County District Judges.

a Show Cause Order why the Defendant(s) should not be sanctioned and referred to the State Bar of Texas; (iv) Take judicial notice of Plaintiff’s prior filings and pleadings on the docket, requesting disciplinary action, sanctions and other relief against HCA and HCA Lawyers[1]; and (iv) Any other relief the Court may decide.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, the Plaintiff files this Notice of Objection and request for Relief.

RESPECTFULLY submitted this 9th day of December, 2022.

[1] Plaintiff has previously filed for disqualification of HCA Lawyers, sanctions, and referral to the State Bar of Texas, along with an expedited Order to obtain the video surveillance footage as described. See; Motion for Sanctions, to Disqualify Serpe Andrews PLLC, Nicole G. Andrews, and Madison J. Addicks and Order Release of Video Surveillance Footage to Plaintiff  (Nov. 22, 2022, Exhibit “Dr. Who 5”).  Plaintiff resubmits the request here.

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