Deeter v. Angus

In Deeter v. Angus (1986) 179 Cal.App.3d 241, the plaintiffs sought to introduce at trial a tape recording of a telephone conversation, and the defendants objected, partly on the ground that it had not been produced in discovery. The trial court excluded the evidence, and the Court of Appeal approved the ruling. (Id. at pp. 253-255.) It relied in part on Thoren v. Johnston & Washer (1972) 29 Cal.App.3d 270, stating, "In Thoren, the appellate court held that the trial court had power to bar the testimony of a witness willfully excluded from an answer to an interrogatory seeking the names of witnesses to an accident. In so holding, it reasoned that 'Where the party served with an interrogatory asking the names of witnesses to an occurrence then known to him deprives his adversary of that information by a willfully false response, he subjects the adversary to unfair surprise at trial. He deprives his adversary of the opportunity of preparation which could disclose whether the witness will tell the truth and whether a claim based upon the witness' testimony is a sham, false, or fraudulent.' (Id., at p. 274.) We see no reason why the same rule should not apply to the willful withholding of evidence such as the tape here at issue." (Deeter, supra, 179 Cal.App.3d at pp. 254-255.)