Discovery is the way that your lawyer asks the opposing party and their lawyer for information on your case. There are several types of discovery. Each type is useful for requesting different types of information.
Types of Discovery
Request for Production. Your attorney can request information like bank statements, credit card bills, stock and retirement account statements going back a year or more. Your attorney can also ask to examine items that the other side has control of like real estate or safe deposit boxes.
Request for Disclosure. This is generally where your attorney asks the opposing attorney questions about the factual bases of the claims or defenses, or legal theories about the case. Included in the request for disclosure are persons with knowledge of relevant facts and any experts who might testify at trial. This may be witnesses or professional experts. The experts are expected to include their resume with their qualifications as an expert. Also, any legal bills or contracts with attorneys are included in this request.
Request for Admissions. Your attorney may craft statements of fact about the case and ask that the other party to the case either “admit or deny” the statement.
Interrogatories. These are written questions that your attorney will send to the opposing party, requesting sworn written answers to the questions.
Depositions. A deposition is either an oral or written interview. Most are oral, and there is a court reporter who makes a record of what is said. Your attorney may depose the other party to the case or witnesses. This is a great way to find out what the other party or a witness will say prior to trial. Any answers at trial that differ from the deposition answers can be used to make the person seem less credible.
Mental or Physical Examinations. In family law, sometimes your lawyer may request the judge to order the other party to have a psychological exam.
Discovery must be complete 30 days prior to final trial. Most types of discovery are required to be produced within 30 days.
If your attorney has requested some of the various types of discovery, and the responses are not received in a timely manner, your attorney may request the judge to compel discovery responses.
If you or your attorney do not or provide discovery responses that are requested by the opposing attorney in a timely manner, your case could be severely compromised if there is a trial. You may not use any material at trial that has not been provided to the other side or call any witnesses that have not been disclosed to the other side.
We are Trusted Family Law & Divorce Attorneys in Central Texas
Discovery can be expensive, but normally it is well worth the cost to make sure that your trial isn’t a one-sided affair to your detriment. At the Vaught Law Firm, we help you explore your best options and work hard to seek a favorable outcome on your behalf. Contact us for a confidential consultation today.