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What do Discovery and Depositions Mean?

Whenever you become involved in a lawsuit, it becomes necessary to try to put together a strong case so you can meet your burden of proof.  The more evidence you have, the more powerful your position is when negotiating a settlement and the more likely it is that you will prevail if your case goes to trial before a judge or a jury.  people-at-work-37316-m

Discovery and depositions are key parts of preparing for any lawsuit. Discovery refers to the exchange of documents and information, while depositions refer to interviews of potential witnesses who may appear in trial.  It is imperative you understand the rules for discovery and depositions in civil litigation. An Irvine, CA business litigation lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide you with advice and assistance throughout the discovery process and can otherwise take steps to help you prepare a strong case. Call today to learn more about how a lawyer will help you.

Understanding Discovery and Depositions

In almost all lawsuits, the opposing party is likely to have information that you need in order to present your case and uncover the truth about the facts and circumstances leading up to the dispute.   Discovery is the process of obtaining the information from the other party. The purpose of discovery is so that both sides know what evidence is going to be presented in trial.  This is done to avoid trial by ambush, or the presentation of surprise evidence and witnesses.  When surprise evidence and unexpected witnesses are presented, this does not give the other party time to obtain evidence answering accusations that are made. This could result in an unfair and unjust outcome.

During the discovery process, both parties to the litigation may be required to produce records, emails, books, and documents for inspection. A court can issue a subpoena to compel the production of this information.  In some cases, the discovery process will involve having someone submit to a physical examination, such as when a customer is claiming a product caused him to suffer certain types of injuries.  There may also be a request for one of the parties to submit documents to be examined in order to determine if the document is legitimate or a forgery.

While a lot of different information is exchanged during discovery, depositions are one of the most important parts of the process. Depositions are essentially pre-interviews of witnesses (or potential witnesses) to find out what they are going to say in trial. The opposing party in the litigation will need to provide you with a list of the witnesses that they may call during trial. You can interview these witnesses under oath and find out what they are going to say so you can be prepared to call their testimony into question if it undermines your case or conflicts with your version of events.

The process of discovery and depositions can be instrumental to determining the outcome of your litigation. You need an experienced attorney to guide you through. An Irvine business litigation lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP is here to help. Call today to learn more.