Have you ever wondered how a plaintiff can win a case without knowing what happened? How could someone be awarded damages when they don't know who was at fault or why it happened? This is a question we get asked quite often at our law firm and one that deserves an answer. This post will discuss the primary purpose of discovery in civil litigation and how it can impact your case.
But first, what is discovery?
What Is Discovery?
Discovery is simply the process by which parties to a lawsuit exchange information to understand their opponent's claims and defenses better. Put otherwise; it is the first step in any civil litigation, where parties agree on a set of rules governing the conduct of the litigation. These rules include things like:
● Deadlines for filing motions, responses, and replies
● Dates for depositions
● Procedures for taking and preserving evidence
Once these rules have been agreed upon, the parties must start exchanging information. This usually happens through formal written discovery requests (also known as interrogatories) and document production requests.
What Is the Purpose of Discovery?
The section below explores its primary purposes of it. These include:
● Allowing Both Parties to Uncover Relevant Evidence to Their Case
First, discovery aims to allow both sides to uncover relevant evidence that may help them prove their case. Thus, both parties can learn more about each other and make informed decisions about whether or not to settle the case based on the available evidence.
● Gaining Information About the Opponent's Claims and Defenses
Second, it allows the plaintiff to gain information about the defendant's claims and defense. Naturally, if the plaintiff has a claim against the defendant, they would want to find out all of the facts related to that claim. Similarly, if the defendant has a defense, they would want to learn everything possible about the plaintiff's claims.
● Providing Information that Will Help the Court Make Decisions
Third, discovery helps the court make decisions about the case. For example, if there is a dispute over liability, the court needs to know the facts related to that issue. If there is a disagreement over damages, the court needs the facts related to that matter.
● Protecting the Privacy Rights of Non-Parties
Finally, discovery protects the privacy rights of non-parties. The burden of privacy in discovery rests squarely on the shoulders of the party seeking discovery. To protect the privacy interests of non-parties, the requesting party must provide sufficient justification for the request.
The Law Office of Andre Clark Is Here to Help!
If you need assistance with your next civil litigation matter, please reach out to us today. Our experienced team of attorneys is ready to assist you. Call our office at (888) 682-2529 or contact us online to schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation!