Posted on August 10, 2015

What is discovery?

Discovery is the process by which relevant information is shared between the lawyers for the plaintiff and defendant (and at times requested from third parties). The discovery process typically includes interrogatories (questions submitted for response), request for production of documents relevant to the dispute, and depositions of the plaintiff, defendant, and potential witnesses. In complex cases, discovery also may involve submission of reports by expert witnesses. With techno- logical advances and no shortage of mediums for communication, there is quite a bit of data to be shared. Between emails, computer files, text messages and phone calls, and data storage devices, discovery can be an expensive undertaking. In fact, in mid-sized cases , discovery is estimated to cost about $3 million. It is often the longest part of the litigation process. After discovery ends, either side may file a “motion for summary judgment,” through which a judge may find that the plaintiff or defendant wins all or part of the case, based on undisputed facts. If factual disputes prevent such a decision, then the case goes to trial.