Microsoft Apologizes to Gay Gamers, Considers Solutions

keptsimple

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Xan Krieger said:
The rule is neutral, public opinion is not. The rule is completely fine and should stay. Why would Microsoft let people open themselves up to trolling like that? The rule is sparing people from being made fun of.
When enforcement of a facially neutral rule is governed by the whims of a non-neutral gaming public, the rule itself ceases to be neutral.

As for the rule protecting people, that sounds a bit paternalistic, don't you think? If this woman thought that the advantages of meeting other gay (and gay-friendly) gamers outweighed the disadvantage of being called names, she should be free to identify herself as gay if she so chooses. In any case, if Microsoft really wants to protect peoples' feelings, wouldn't it make more sense to ban the people who are doing the attacking? You don't give detention to the kid who got beat up to protect him from the bully.
 

Xan Krieger

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keptsimple said:
Xan Krieger said:
The rule is neutral, public opinion is not. The rule is completely fine and should stay. Why would Microsoft let people open themselves up to trolling like that? The rule is sparing people from being made fun of.
When enforcement of a facially neutral rule is governed by the whims of a non-neutral gaming public, the rule itself ceases to be neutral.

As for the rule protecting people, that sounds a bit paternalistic, don't you think? If this woman thought that the advantages of meeting other gay (and gay-friendly) gamers outweighed the disadvantage of being called names, she should be free to identify herself as gay if she so chooses. In any case, if Microsoft really wants to protect peoples' feelings, wouldn't it make more sense to ban the people who are doing the attacking? You don't give detention to the kid who got beat up to protect him from the bully.
I have a suggestion here. Keep sexual preference out of the profile and ignore the people who complain about someone blatently coming on and saying "I'm Gay".
 

asinann

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Rednog said:
asinann said:
Rednog said:
I still say Microsoft should have stuck to their guns. It is somewhat disheartening to always hear people pull out the torches and pitchforks when they feel they have been wronged, but in reality she clearly broke the rules.
In the case of Gaywood being used, that one of those rare out of the blue occurrences and somewhat surprising it made it to the press.
I think that a lot of these problems are created somewhat by people who want attention out of them, yea there is some argument to be made on whether or not Microsoft should allow the use of gay or lesbian in profiles and names. If they do allow it they would have to spend more resources policing the 98% of misuses and 2% of proper uses that get abused by other players. To me this is a huge headache, I think that people need to step back and look at this rationally.
Xbox Live is a place to play games, it is not a place to hook up. While something like stating your sexuality might be appropriate in other games where actions are more intimate most games on the 360 are a few minutes to an hour long at most.

I think some requests of tolerance and or acceptance are reasonable, but when you have to bend over backwards for people who could make simple changes to fix the problem themselves it gets ridiculous.
You know if they HAD stuck to their guns GLAAD would have jumped aboard with an anti-discrimination lawsuit and since Microsoft is based in Washington state (where it violates state constitution to discriminate against anyone in any way by any business or government agency) Microsoft would have lost or settled and been forced to change the policy anyway. This just saves them a ton of money.
When she made an account on Xbox Live she agreed to their terms of use, which states that you cannot make references to sexuality, thus she broke the rules and is at fault. It is not discriminatory if it applies to everyone. Also no one at Microsoft banned her specifically for having that in her profile. Like the original article said she had many reports against her (what caused players to do this we will never know the exact details) but the ban was because of the multiple reports. If you have ever used the system there are set choices for reporting someone, and odds are MS banned her without looking for that and not just seeing the word lesbian and banning for that. Thus GLAAD would be filing a loosing lawsuit, which is questionably frivolous thus ensuring a counter-suit.
In a court that uses logic, yes.
Say discrimination in court, and show that there are straight people violating that part of the agreement not getting banned (not difficult) and you have enough to get money.

Civil courts are MUCH more lenient on rules of evidence and what constitutes proof (see the O.J. case.)

The settlement probably would have included a line in it saying that Microsoft admits no wrongdoing but will pay out to prevent negative press, etc.
 

JWAN

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sorry user name taken. said:
Richard Gaywood - tee hee
Richard "Dick" Gaywood

tell me his parents didn't plan that

anyway, I don't think Microsoft wanted this to discriminate.
 

asinann

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JWAN said:
sorry user name taken. said:
Richard Gaywood - tee hee
Richard "Dick" Gaywood

tell me his parents didn't plan that

anyway, I don't think Microsoft wanted this to discriminate.
I don't think it's his real name, at least not the one he was given by his parents.
 

keptsimple

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asinann said:
In a court that uses logic, yes.
Say discrimination in court, and show that there are straight people violating that part of the agreement not getting banned (not difficult) and you have enough to get money.

Civil courts are MUCH more lenient on rules of evidence and what constitutes proof (see the O.J. case.)

The settlement probably would have included a line in it saying that Microsoft admits no wrongdoing but will pay out to prevent negative press, etc.
I'm not trying to be an ass here, but if you knew what it takes for a plaintiff to prevail in any kind of discrimination case, you wouldn't be saying this.

Also, there's no such thing as a "civil court" (at least in the United States). The same judges that preside over criminal cases also preside over civil cases. Furthermore, the same rules of evidence apply in civil cases as in criminal cases. There are a few small differences (e.g. the confrontation clause only applies in criminal cases), but I can't imagine how those differences would be relevant here.

And a wrongful death tort case (e.g. the O.J. civil case) is not comparable to a discrimination case.
 

sanzo

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Xan Krieger said:
sanzo said:
Xan Krieger said:
keptsimple said:
Rednog said:
Considering there is outrage about the problem I think that it isn't clear to everyone that she broke the rules. The articles don't mention the fact. Both articles give an implication that Microsoft singled her out because she is a lesbian. This however is untrue, the banned her because of complaints against her. Banning someone for breaking the rule of "No mentioning of sexual preference whatsoever" is different from Banning them because the person is a lesbian. One is discriminatory and the other is not.
The rule may appear neutral with regard to sexuality, but in practice it's not.

Anyone who has spent five minutes on XBL knows that that place is, unfortunately, a breeding ground for homo-bigots, racists, and general morons. Not to say there aren't plenty of nice folks on there (or else I wouldn't be a member), but you don't have to be playing for too long before someone gets called a "******."

This is where the problem with the rule comes in: enforcement is based on user complaints. When the users making the complaints are bigoted mouthbreathers, we have a serious problem. The rule, in effect, empowers bigots to ban people whose existence makes them uncomfortable. If I put "I'm a man who loves the ladies" or something in my XBL profile, do you think I would have any chance of getting banned as a result of complaints? Of course not. Yet even that fairly benign statement is far more sexually charged than simple self-identification as a lesbian.
The rule is neutral, public opinion is not. The rule is completely fine and should stay. Why would Microsoft let people open themselves up to trolling like that? The rule is sparing people from being made fun of.
/facepalm

Yet another "Don't be who you really are cause people will hound you for it" argument.

Now I'll agree that yes, people will, as a whole, not take kindly to things that are foreign to them. But, seriously, how are things ever going to change, or get better, if you just ignore the problem?
Do you want a microsoft to start a gay-pride thing? How do you want them to change who plays the games?
Sorry for the late response, just got back from work

No Microsoft can't do a damn thing about it, unfortunately. See, if they made it a rule to "treat 'x' people fairly", then the jackasses who used to hound them will probably just do it worse, just out of spite; because, honestly, you can make as many rules you want on the internet, but you're never going to be able to catch all the people who break them, it's just not possible.

Ideally, it shouldn't even be an issue. Of course, even with as much progress humanity has made over the years, we're still pretty backwards in a lot of areas

The fact that they even needed that rule in the first place just speaks volumes. Not about Microsoft, mind you.
 

Cortheya

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theyre going the way of how blizzard has been recently: yielding to complaint
 

Goldbling

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Hear Hear!

Two yippies for Gay gamers.

This is a step foward for gay gamers, and i hope they continue their right to game. No, im not gay


Xan Krieger said:
I see no need for change. Why would you even want to put your "sexual preference" in your profile?
Because in the space "Bio", Bio means self, so she is a Lesbian, why woldent she put it there?
 

black lincon

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I hate to be mean but I'm going to have to agree with Blunty3000 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikn1KSNoiaM&feature=channel_page]. It was against the terms of service, it doesn't affect how you play, and you should be able to figure out after five minutes on Xbox Live that the majority of people are homophobes so why give them something to yell about?
 

Xan Krieger

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sanzo said:
Xan Krieger said:
sanzo said:
Xan Krieger said:
keptsimple said:
Rednog said:
Considering there is outrage about the problem I think that it isn't clear to everyone that she broke the rules. The articles don't mention the fact. Both articles give an implication that Microsoft singled her out because she is a lesbian. This however is untrue, the banned her because of complaints against her. Banning someone for breaking the rule of "No mentioning of sexual preference whatsoever" is different from Banning them because the person is a lesbian. One is discriminatory and the other is not.
The rule may appear neutral with regard to sexuality, but in practice it's not.

Anyone who has spent five minutes on XBL knows that that place is, unfortunately, a breeding ground for homo-bigots, racists, and general morons. Not to say there aren't plenty of nice folks on there (or else I wouldn't be a member), but you don't have to be playing for too long before someone gets called a "******."

This is where the problem with the rule comes in: enforcement is based on user complaints. When the users making the complaints are bigoted mouthbreathers, we have a serious problem. The rule, in effect, empowers bigots to ban people whose existence makes them uncomfortable. If I put "I'm a man who loves the ladies" or something in my XBL profile, do you think I would have any chance of getting banned as a result of complaints? Of course not. Yet even that fairly benign statement is far more sexually charged than simple self-identification as a lesbian.
The rule is neutral, public opinion is not. The rule is completely fine and should stay. Why would Microsoft let people open themselves up to trolling like that? The rule is sparing people from being made fun of.
/facepalm

Yet another "Don't be who you really are cause people will hound you for it" argument.

Now I'll agree that yes, people will, as a whole, not take kindly to things that are foreign to them. But, seriously, how are things ever going to change, or get better, if you just ignore the problem?
Do you want a microsoft to start a gay-pride thing? How do you want them to change who plays the games?
Sorry for the late response, just got back from work

No Microsoft can't do a damn thing about it, unfortunately. See, if they made it a rule to "treat 'x' people fairly", then the jackasses who used to hound them will probably just do it worse, just out of spite; because, honestly, you can make as many rules you want on the internet, but you're never going to be able to catch all the people who break them, it's just not possible.

Ideally, it shouldn't even be an issue. Of course, even with as much progress humanity has made over the years, we're still pretty backwards in a lot of areas

The fact that they even needed that rule in the first place just speaks volumes. Not about Microsoft, mind you.
They didn't need it, it was just something they threw in. I say let Microsoft do what it wants because this rule doesn't change a thing, playing on xbox live is just as fun as it's always been and so long as it keeps being fun who cares? It's not like they're keeping you from playing games.
 

Infiniteloop

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Rednog said:
When she made an account on Xbox Live she agreed to their terms of use, which states that you cannot make references to sexuality, thus she broke the rules and is at fault.
Glad to see another glimmer of common sense on the internet :)
 

thegrandtaco

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NO Microsoft shouldn't apologize for anything
keep you sexual agendas to yourself. i dont care if you gay/straight/bisexual just keep it yourself. im not on xbox live to listen to some person tell me what preferences they have for there sex lives.
whats next are they going to have, play with transsexuals day.

KEEP YOUR SEXUAL LIVES PRIVATE. WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT THAT.
 

Jumplion

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thegrandtaco said:
NO Microsoft shouldn't apologize for anything
keep you sexual agendas to yourself. i dont care if you gay/straight/bisexual just keep it yourself. im not on xbox live to listen to some person tell me what preferences they have for there sex lives.
whats next are they going to have, play with transsexuals day.

KEEP YOUR SEXUAL LIVES PRIVATE. WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT THAT.
You, and some other guys that I'm too lazy to really point out, but I guess a lot of you guys in general, are making Microsoft look like complete jackasses when they're not trying to be.

Right here, Microsoft is trying to apologize for any offense they caused and they say they're trying to work it out so everyone can have a good time on LIVE, and you guys are saying it's okay for them to be power-hungry and make themselves look like complete asshats!

You guys are making Microsoft look like douchebags, you're not helping the argument in anyway.

And just for the record, putting your personal info on a personal profile is private. It is not flashed in front of everyone, it does not pop up to everyone who goes in contact with it, it isn't something that everyone checks, and it isn't necessary for people to play with. It's just a little bit about yourself, and I don't see why someone can't just put up a little something about themselves.

Whether or not sexual orientation is appropriate or not, I won't debate, but I think everyone is just making a huge deal out of something that shouldn't even matter in the first place.
 

JWAN

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asinann said:
JWAN said:
sorry user name taken. said:
Richard Gaywood - tee hee
Richard "Dick" Gaywood

tell me his parents didn't plan that

anyway, I don't think Microsoft wanted this to discriminate.
I don't think it's his real name, at least not the one he was given by his parents.
Your probably right, if you want to sue someone you gotta sue a fat pig, Microsoft is that fat pig and could have been in this scenario

I could be wrong but then again Ive been correct on a number of occasions
:)
 

asinann

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keptsimple said:
asinann said:
In a court that uses logic, yes.
Say discrimination in court, and show that there are straight people violating that part of the agreement not getting banned (not difficult) and you have enough to get money.

Civil courts are MUCH more lenient on rules of evidence and what constitutes proof (see the O.J. case.)

The settlement probably would have included a line in it saying that Microsoft admits no wrongdoing but will pay out to prevent negative press, etc.
I'm not trying to be an ass here, but if you knew what it takes for a plaintiff to prevail in any kind of discrimination case, you wouldn't be saying this.

Also, there's no such thing as a "civil court" (at least in the United States). The same judges that preside over criminal cases also preside over civil cases. Furthermore, the same rules of evidence apply in civil cases as in criminal cases. There are a few small differences (e.g. the confrontation clause only applies in criminal cases), but I can't imagine how those differences would be relevant here.

And a wrongful death tort case (e.g. the O.J. civil case) is not comparable to a discrimination case.
The judges are RARELY the same (only in extremely small counties) the rules on what is allowable and what isn't allowable are WAY different (as in the O.J. case, way to take the example out of context.)

The judge who hears lawsuits is usually only doing lawsuits (occasionally they hear traffic tickets disputes or minor misdemeanors) the rules on discovery are also different, you don't have to show the other party everything you have. And while YOU don't get to question the accuser, they DO get questioned in open court. Something like that would also be seen by a jury, so you don't need nearly as much as you seem to think. It takes less to tag a company on discrimination than it does to tag someone for a hate crime (and it doesn't take much to get tagged with a hate crime.)

And like I said the first time I posted, Microsoft would probably settle to save money and leave a clause in that says they admit no wrongdoing.
 

sanzo

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Jumplion said:
thegrandtaco said:
NO Microsoft shouldn't apologize for anything
keep you sexual agendas to yourself. i dont care if you gay/straight/bisexual just keep it yourself. im not on xbox live to listen to some person tell me what preferences they have for there sex lives.
whats next are they going to have, play with transsexuals day.

KEEP YOUR SEXUAL LIVES PRIVATE. WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT THAT.
You, and some other guys that I'm too lazy to really point out, but I guess a lot of you guys in general, are making Microsoft look like complete jackasses when they're not trying to be.

Right here, Microsoft is trying to apologize for any offense they caused and they say they're trying to work it out so everyone can have a good time on LIVE, and you guys are saying it's okay for them to be power-hungry and make themselves look like complete asshats!

You guys are making Microsoft look like douchebags, you're not helping the argument in anyway.

And just for the record, putting your personal info on a personal profile is private. It is not flashed in front of everyone, it does not pop up to everyone who goes in contact with it, it isn't something that everyone checks, and it isn't necessary for people to play with. It's just a little bit about yourself, and I don't see why someone can't just put up a little something about themselves.

Whether or not sexual orientation is appropriate or not, I won't debate, but I think everyone is just making a huge deal out of something that shouldn't even matter in the first place.
Well thank the gods someone said it.

This is not in any way Microsoft's fault. I highly doubt the person who issued the ban saw the profile of this woman; I'm sure those guys have to put up with enough of those complaints on a daily basis, it'd be pretty hard to deal with each one personally.

Honestly, the easiest way to deal with situations like these is to just be complacent, which Microsoft has done by apologizing, because it can only get worse if you fight it; sad but true


Xan Krieger said:
sanzo said:
Xan Krieger said:
sanzo said:
Xan Krieger said:
keptsimple said:
Rednog said:
Considering there is outrage about the problem I think that it isn't clear to everyone that she broke the rules. The articles don't mention the fact. Both articles give an implication that Microsoft singled her out because she is a lesbian. This however is untrue, the banned her because of complaints against her. Banning someone for breaking the rule of "No mentioning of sexual preference whatsoever" is different from Banning them because the person is a lesbian. One is discriminatory and the other is not.
The rule may appear neutral with regard to sexuality, but in practice it's not.

Anyone who has spent five minutes on XBL knows that that place is, unfortunately, a breeding ground for homo-bigots, racists, and general morons. Not to say there aren't plenty of nice folks on there (or else I wouldn't be a member), but you don't have to be playing for too long before someone gets called a "******."

This is where the problem with the rule comes in: enforcement is based on user complaints. When the users making the complaints are bigoted mouthbreathers, we have a serious problem. The rule, in effect, empowers bigots to ban people whose existence makes them uncomfortable. If I put "I'm a man who loves the ladies" or something in my XBL profile, do you think I would have any chance of getting banned as a result of complaints? Of course not. Yet even that fairly benign statement is far more sexually charged than simple self-identification as a lesbian.
The rule is neutral, public opinion is not. The rule is completely fine and should stay. Why would Microsoft let people open themselves up to trolling like that? The rule is sparing people from being made fun of.
/facepalm

Yet another "Don't be who you really are cause people will hound you for it" argument.

Now I'll agree that yes, people will, as a whole, not take kindly to things that are foreign to them. But, seriously, how are things ever going to change, or get better, if you just ignore the problem?
Do you want a microsoft to start a gay-pride thing? How do you want them to change who plays the games?
Sorry for the late response, just got back from work

No Microsoft can't do a damn thing about it, unfortunately. See, if they made it a rule to "treat 'x' people fairly", then the jackasses who used to hound them will probably just do it worse, just out of spite; because, honestly, you can make as many rules you want on the internet, but you're never going to be able to catch all the people who break them, it's just not possible.

Ideally, it shouldn't even be an issue. Of course, even with as much progress humanity has made over the years, we're still pretty backwards in a lot of areas

The fact that they even needed that rule in the first place just speaks volumes. Not about Microsoft, mind you.
They didn't need it, it was just something they threw in. I say let Microsoft do what it wants because this rule doesn't change a thing, playing on xbox live is just as fun as it's always been and so long as it keeps being fun who cares? It's not like they're keeping you from playing games.
I'll agree that the rule really won't do much; people can and will continue to be assholes on the internet. I think this sums up the point pretty well:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/
 

Xan Krieger

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Feb 11, 2009
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Xan Krieger said:
sanzo said:
Xan Krieger said:
sanzo said:
Xan Krieger said:
keptsimple said:
Rednog said:
Considering there is outrage about the problem I think that it isn't clear to everyone that she broke the rules. The articles don't mention the fact. Both articles give an implication that Microsoft singled her out because she is a lesbian. This however is untrue, the banned her because of complaints against her. Banning someone for breaking the rule of "No mentioning of sexual preference whatsoever" is different from Banning them because the person is a lesbian. One is discriminatory and the other is not.
The rule may appear neutral with regard to sexuality, but in practice it's not.

Anyone who has spent five minutes on XBL knows that that place is, unfortunately, a breeding ground for homo-bigots, racists, and general morons. Not to say there aren't plenty of nice folks on there (or else I wouldn't be a member), but you don't have to be playing for too long before someone gets called a "******."

This is where the problem with the rule comes in: enforcement is based on user complaints. When the users making the complaints are bigoted mouthbreathers, we have a serious problem. The rule, in effect, empowers bigots to ban people whose existence makes them uncomfortable. If I put "I'm a man who loves the ladies" or something in my XBL profile, do you think I would have any chance of getting banned as a result of complaints? Of course not. Yet even that fairly benign statement is far more sexually charged than simple self-identification as a lesbian.
The rule is neutral, public opinion is not. The rule is completely fine and should stay. Why would Microsoft let people open themselves up to trolling like that? The rule is sparing people from being made fun of.
/facepalm

Yet another "Don't be who you really are cause people will hound you for it" argument.

Now I'll agree that yes, people will, as a whole, not take kindly to things that are foreign to them. But, seriously, how are things ever going to change, or get better, if you just ignore the problem?
Do you want a microsoft to start a gay-pride thing? How do you want them to change who plays the games?
Sorry for the late response, just got back from work

No Microsoft can't do a damn thing about it, unfortunately. See, if they made it a rule to "treat 'x' people fairly", then the jackasses who used to hound them will probably just do it worse, just out of spite; because, honestly, you can make as many rules you want on the internet, but you're never going to be able to catch all the people who break them, it's just not possible.

Ideally, it shouldn't even be an issue. Of course, even with as much progress humanity has made over the years, we're still pretty backwards in a lot of areas

The fact that they even needed that rule in the first place just speaks volumes. Not about Microsoft, mind you.
They didn't need it, it was just something they threw in. I say let Microsoft do what it wants because this rule doesn't change a thing, playing on xbox live is just as fun as it's always been and so long as it keeps being fun who cares? It's not like they're keeping you from playing games.
I'll agree that the rule really won't do much; people can and will continue to be assholes on the internet. I think this sums up the point pretty well:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/ [/quote]
seen that one before and I still agree with it 100%. People will always be jerks on the internet and nothing will change that.

edit: for some reason I can't seem to fix the quote
 

keptsimple

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asinann said:
The judges are RARELY the same (only in extremely small counties) the rules on what is allowable and what isn't allowable are WAY different (as in the O.J. case, way to take the example out of context.)

The judge who hears lawsuits is usually only doing lawsuits (occasionally they hear traffic tickets disputes or minor misdemeanors) the rules on discovery are also different, you don't have to show the other party everything you have. And while YOU don't get to question the accuser, they DO get questioned in open court. Something like that would also be seen by a jury, so you don't need nearly as much as you seem to think. It takes less to tag a company on discrimination than it does to tag someone for a hate crime (and it doesn't take much to get tagged with a hate crime.)

And like I said the first time I posted, Microsoft would probably settle to save money and leave a clause in that says they admit no wrongdoing.
I've had experience in a court in a county with roughly 850,000 residents. The judges presided over both civil and criminal matters. Same goes for federal district court.

As for some of your other statements, they were a bit too much of a muddle for me to completely unpack, but it looks like you're confusing the rules of evidence with the rules of procedure. But your understanding of civil discovery rules also seems to be a bit off. Most states have rules of discovery that are modeled on the FRCP, which were designed precisely to give both sides access to as much information as possible in order to avoid courtroom surprises.