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discovery boxes

 

What is Discovery?

Also Known as Interrogatories and

Request for Production of Documents

During a lawsuit, either side may choose to do discovery. Discovery is often time consuming and expensive, and somewhat cumbersome, but it allows both parties to have the facts before court, which saves everyone time and money at that stage of the case. There is no real way to make it easier, but we can give you an overview of what it means.

A Request for Production of Documents requires you (or the opposing party) to produce various documents to the other attorney. If we receive such a request, you will receive a copy of it. Within two weeks of your receiving the Request for Production of Documents, please bring us all of the documentation you do have in your possession. If you are forced to pay for the records (such as old bank statements), talk with us before you do so because we may be able to modify the request. If requested records are in the possession of the opposing party, please include a note to that effect when you drop off the documents to our office. If you do not have the records, please include a note to that effect as well so we understand you did try to locate them. You do not need an appointment with staff or the attorney to drop off these records. When the responses are complete, you will be required to sign a response, which is “sworn” (i.e., you are under oath to tell the truth). Bear in mind that your answers may be used by the opposing attorney during any cross examination if we are in court, therefore, you need to be certain you are being totally honest in your responses. Interrogatories consist of written questions that require you (or the opposing party) to answer the questions in writing. If we receive such a request, you will receive a copy of it.  It is important to answer the questions as accurately as possible. Failure to promptly and fully respond to discovery requests can lead to sanctions, including an order to pay the legal expenses of the other party.

Feel free to “mark up” a copy of the interrogatories or ideally e-mail your responses to our staff, which saves additional time. Within two weeks of your receiving the Interrogatories, please provide your answers to us in writing (or by e-mail). Once we receive your written answers, we will finalize the “legal” part, such as raising any objections to the question, or working with you to answer the questions that ask about the law.  Once you have reviewed our final draft and are satisfied it is correct and accurate, you will be required to sign a response, which is “sworn” (i.e., you are under oath to tell the truth).  Bear in mind that your answers may be used by the opposing attorney during any cross examination if we are in court, therefore, you need to be certain you are being totally honest in your responses. Perjury is a crime, whether spoken or written.

 

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