What is Discovery?
Discovery is a way both parties to an action can find out what the other party’s claim or defence is all about and gain information as to the facts and evidence the other party is relying on to prosecute or defend their claim. This process allows the parties to gather information and assess the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent’s case.
Examination for Discovery
Examination for Discovery is a process where one party asks the opposing party questions about matters that are being disputed. Examination for Discovery is part of almost every civil lawsuit and is a procedure established by the Rules of Civil Procedure. The lawyer who is asking the questions has a right to ask broad questions that relate to the action. The lawyer representing the person being questioned ensures that all of the questions asked are relevant and proper and will object to any improper questions put to his/her client. Questions must relate to any matter in issue in the proceeding as raised in the pleadings.
Method and Purpose of the Examination
The Examination takes place before a reporter in an official examiner facility. This is an out-of-court procedure. The reporter records every word and provides a transcript of the examination. The party being deposed (answering the questions) swears that he/she will answer questions truthfully. You will most likely be testifying again at trial. If you give an answer at the Examination, then give a conflicting answer at trial, the opposing lawyer can use this to undermine your credibility. If you have admitted anything on your Examination that is damaging to your position, the opposing lawyer can read that admission in as evidence at trial. For instance, if you have given an answer at your Examination that supports the opponent’s position, the opposing lawyer can use your answer as evidence. Your lawyer can only use your transcript to expand on or clarify some portion of the transcript that the opposing lawyer has already used against you.
Examination for Discovery is an important step in the litigation process. Call Douglas Strelshik Law if you have any questions regarding an Examination for Discovery.