Discovery – what does that mean again?
Discovery is the main process through which information is gathered that is relevant to a case. In Family Court cases, for example, the discovery process allows me, as counsel, to obtain information from the opposing party that my client may not have access to or may not already be aware of or may just need to know for purposes of decision-making and looking to proposed agreement terms.
Several tools can be used, including Requests to Admit, Requests for Production, and Interrogatories.
Requests to Admit ask specific questions of the opposing party, which, if left unanswered after the 30-day responsive period, are deemed admitted. This tools allows for a practictioner to hone in specific issues, i.e. adultery allegations and violations of visitation guidelines and restraining orders.
Requests for Production ask the other party to produce documents that are relevant to the litigation, i.e. the opposing party’s tax returns, work schedule or credit report.
Interrogatories are questions posed to the other party regarding issues such as who will be called as witnesses during a trial of the matter and what each witness’ testimony is predicted to entail.
Discovery tools such as these mentioned help the parties learn more about the facts of the case and prepare for the trial in a well-equipped manner.