THE WRITTEN DISCOVERY PROCESS
At the Law Offices of Kevin McConnell, we fight for each injured client to recover the highest possible recovery for their injuries and damages. Some cases settle for good value before a formal lawsuit if filed, others need to be prosecuted in the Courts.
Once a case is filed, each party to the lawsuit has the opportunity to conduct “discovery” to learn facts and information, and to obtain evidence helpful to their case. Discovery may include written questions (“interrogatories”), requests that the other side provide certain documents (“document production”), or requests to admit or deny certain facts are true. This process of exchanging written information with the other parties in the case is referred to as “discovery” and is an important source of evidence for any party to a lawsuit.
THE CLIENT’S ROLE IN WRITTEN DISCOVERY
Upon receipt of one of these discovery request, we will provide a copy to you and ask that you respond with your draft answers. Based upon your draft answers, we will formulate the appropriate legal response, add any necessary legal objections, and prepare our formal written responses for timely delivery to the other side.
With each discovery request, we will provide a Verification form for you to sign and return with your draft answers. Your signed Verification will be attached to our completed responses.
Discovery requests, and our responses, are very time sensitive. Typically, we have just thirty (30) days to complete the process of obtaining your draft answers and crafting our formal verified answers. As such, it is important that you respond immediately to any discovery request provided by my office.
Your draft responses should be sent to my office only. These should NOT be sent to the opposing attorney and you should never have direct contact, written or otherwise, with opposing counsel.
TYPES OF WRITTEN DISCOVERY REQUESTS
Form Interrogatories: These are a lengthy set of questions designed and approved for use in most injury cases. The defense will serve a set of Form Interrogatories at the beginning of almost every case.
Special Interrogatories: These are specially crafted questions which pertain to the specific case.
Request for Production: Sometimes titled Demand for Production and Inspection or some variant, this is a request that we produce certain documents relevant to the case and verify that they are complete and authentic using a Verification form.
Request for Admissions: These allow opposing counsel to secure our admission or denial of certain facts and allegations in the case.
With each type of written discovery request, a copy of the request will be provided to you with instructions and a Verification form. Again, time is of the essence. If we fail to provide responses within the thirty day limit, we may compromise our rights to object to questions or prevent access to information which we seek to keep private.
WRITTEN DISCOVERY DIRECTED TO THE DEFENDANTS
Discovery is a two way street; while we are responding to discovery requests served by the defendants, we are serving our own requests which the defense must answer, under oath, within 30 days. In this fashion we can determine what the defense position will be with regard to our claims and obtain any evidence they may have.
OTHER TYPES OF DISCOVERY
In addition to the exchange of written discovery requests, any party may obtain information and documents using the following tools:
Depositions: Each party (and any non-party witnesses) may be required to give sworn testimony at a deposition—this is a live question and answer session which is transcribed by a stenographic reporter. Plaintiffs in a personal injury lawsuit can expect to give testimony at a deposition. We will give you advance notice of any deposition and will provide complete instructions for the deposition. Further, we will meet with you to thoroughly prepare for the deposition and will attend the deposition with you to protect your interests. For more information on the deposition process see the blog posts on our website, click here.
Records Subpoenas: Each side may issue subpoenas to any non-party (typically doctors, hospitals, and employers) to obtain records relevant to the claims and allegations in the lawsuit. We receive a copy of each subpoena in advance and have a chance to object if appropriate, or to obtain copies of records produced under the subpoena.
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PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL OUR OFFICE WHENEVER YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT DISCOVERY OR YOUR ROLE IN THE PROCESS!