In Family Law, Personal Injury

Discovery issues in litigation

Just about every litigation matter has a certain amount of discovery that needs to be done. Discovery is a term used to describe the gathering and reviewing of documents, pictures, recordings, and any other item that might be relevant to a case. Attorneys for each party typically send a request for the other party to produce a long list of items as part of their representation in the beginning of a case. Sometimes parties are asked to bring the items with them to court or to a deposition where discovery will also include their answering questions of the opposing attorney. Sometimes the information is simply sent from one attorney to the other. The amount of discovery depends on the particular facts of the case and the type of case.

In matrimonial law, everything that ever happened during the entire marriage is relevant. Naturally, attorneys and their clients need to decide what is most important. Cost is an important factor for many clients. It takes time to review and analyze information. Some wonder whether it even has to be done. At the very least, it is important and necessary for the attorney to review some basic financial information. If a client is well informed of the family finances, does not suspect the other party of any “funny business,” and my initial check and balance does not produce any red flags, then we can discuss limiting the discovery to that point. If any of those conditions does not exist, then prudence dictates more substantial discovery and the cost is justified.  Discovery beyond financial concerns will often be necessary when there are disputes over custody or regarding fault in the marital breakdown.

Attorneys, with their client’s help, will discuss the issues thoroughly and identify what information may be necessary to help prove or disprove a claim. In the end, the attorney uses the discovery to evaluate the strength of the case, make recommendations for settlement and prepare for trial. Discovery is very important for a successful resolution of a case.

Need to discuss your case?  Get a free phone consultation from Bellenot & Bouford.

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