The road to justice has many hurdles that a Competent and Committed Personal Injury Lawyer must carefully tread. One of these very important stages is the discovery process.
In all jurisdictions of the United States there are pre-trial procedures that must be complied with. During the Discovery Process in a civil lawsuit each party can obtain evidence from the other party or parties through request for answers to interrogatories (questions) request for production of documents via Subpoena Duces Tecum, depositions, requests for admissions and so on. If the parties do not comply, then various kinds of subpoenas or motions to compel, etc., are issued.
Most states' discovery procedures are based on the federal discovery rules. For instance in California the process of discovery is governed by the Civil Discovery Act of 1986 (Title 4 (Sections 2016-2036) of the Code of Civil Procedure.
California written discovery generally consists of four methods: Request for Production of Documents, Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Requests for Admissions.
What is Discoverable
Generally, a party to a lawsuit may obtain any relevant information to the lawsuit, as long as the information is not protected by law or is otherwise privileged. For instance, if there is a witness to the event, which is the basis for the lawsuit, e.g. auto accident, he or she can be deposed. Police report, medical treatments and income history, list of losses and so on.
Generally, a lawsuit opens the doors to almost all kinds of evidence and discoveries. However, at times some incompetent Lawyers might try to use litigation tactics that pry into private matters only to embarrass, delay or frivolously cause discomfort. In such cases there are some legal remedies that limit such activities.
In almost all jurisdictions communications between husband and wife or attorney-client, doctor-patient, religions clergy person-penitent and so on may be privileged; thus not discoverable.
It is important to note that even if a party is compelled to disclose certain information to the other side in a lawsuit, that information can still be protected by the court from public disclosure.
This is just a brief description of some issues affecting a personal injury lawsuit. Of course, each case is fact and circumstance specific, which mandate certain requirements and procedural instruments to be utilized. This is a very complicated process, which requires full attention of a highly competent, experienced and committed Personal Injury Attorney and his or her professional team of support staff. To obtain a FREE case evaluation in confidence, click on www.ChosenLawyers.com and see if your case is a winner!