The discovery phase is one of the most substantial and important phases of a civil lawsuit. During the discovery phase both parties exchange information and provide responses to questions. The primary discovery tools are interrogatories, requests for production, requests for admission, and depositions. If you retain an attorney you will be advised of important developments during the discovery process.
Interrogatories are questions that both sides will present to each other in sets. The parties have a specific amount of time to respond to these questions. The interrogatories will ask about the facts of the case and any non-privileged information that will be helpful to determining issues related to liability or damages. Only non-privileged information is discoverable, and this means that attorney work product and attorney-client communications are privileged.
The scope of discovery is broader than the scope of admissible evidence. Essentially, this means that the parties can obtain information during the discovery phase that is not admissible at trial. Having this information will help the parties potentially reach a settlement agreement.
Requests for Production
Requests for production concern documents possessed by each party to the lawsuit. One side will send requests for specific documents such as copies of insurance policies and other relevant documents. Sometimes the parties produce electronically stored information and transmit this information via email. It is important for all the parties to be able to redact the documents produced to make sure no privileged information is shared with the other party.
Requests for Admission
Requests for admission are more straightforward than the other discovery tools available to both plaintiffs and defendants. The parties will send requests for the other side to either admit or deny a specific fact. These discovery tools are often used to determine whether a party will admit liability or not in a personal injury case.
A party must admit or deny every request for admission. If a party does not do so, then they are deemed to admit the request. It is important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side who can help you determine how best to answer the discovery documents in your case.
Depositions are sessions of questioning during which an attorney questions a witness or party related to a case. The deponent is the person being questioned, and they must answer under oath. It is vital that the party being questioned undergo deposition preparation with a skilled lawyer who can help them avoid harming their case during a deposition.
Oftentimes depositions can be contentious, but the majority of them are conducted in a casual and informal manner. While most depositions were formerly conducted in person, today many depositions are performed over video messaging platforms such as Zoom.
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Reach out to Mark Harford Law today to learn more about the benefits of retaining an attorney. You do not have to handle the responsibility of a civil lawsuit on your own. Our attorneys can help you with every aspect of your case. If you are searching for exceptional legal representation, contact us today to learn more about the legal options available to you.