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Legal Discovery: What You Need to Know to Get the Information You Need

By April 2, 2024No Comments

When you file a lawsuit, you need a large amount of information about your case, and this sometimes includes information the other party may not readily disclose. The California Code of Civil Procedures outlines the steps parties in a lawsuit can take to legally request this information from the other party. This process is known as discovery.

Generally, discovery is a legal process that allows one party to get information or evidence about the case from the other party in a lawsuit. When you use the discovery process, the other party must provide the information you request. The law about the legal discovery process varies from state to state, but in California, there are two basic terms you need to know about this process. These are written discovery and depositions.

What Is Written Discovery?

Most cases in California involve written discovery. During this process, you may ask the other party written questions. They have the responsibility to answer them truthfully. 

Written discovery can include interrogatories, request for admissions, and requests for the production of documents. Interrogatories are questions. When one party sends interrogatories to the other, the recipient must answer the questions in writing and under oath.  Requests for admissions are when you ask the other party to admit a fact or admit the genuineness of a document.  Requests for production of documents is when you are the other party to produce documents that are relevant to your case.

Sometimes when a case involves physical items or real estate, discovery can also include a request for inspection.  

What Are Depositions?

Depositions are another part of the discovery process. A deposition is the taking and recording of testimony of a witness. Deposition testimony is taken under oath, recorded and transcribed into a written document by a court reportor.

Get Expert Legal Help to Prepare for Discovery

Discovery, whether you are answering or asking the questions, is a complex process. Contact the team at Lanak & Hanna today to learn how to best prepare for the discovery process so you can make the most of this important step in your case.

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