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Northwest OH Legal Blog

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What is discovery?

In a lawsuit, the parties need to learn what information and evidence the other parties have.  Statistically, the vast majority of civil disputes settle prior to trial.  Without obtaining the other parties’ information and evidence, though, the parties cannot evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s claims and defenses, and therefore cannot engage in meaningful settlement discussions.  Parties also need to obtain the other parties’ information and evidence so that a fair trial can be had if the parties cannot reach a settlement prior to trial.  The legal system is not designed for “trial by ambush.”  Instead, the law promotes the free sharing of information and evidence. 

To accomplish this sharing, the parties will typically engage in two forms of discovery:  written discovery and depositions.  Written discovery consists of written questions in the form of interrogatories, requests for production, and requests for admission.  Depositions are a procedure where a witness is asked questions under oath, and a court reporter records the answers.  These discovery methods are employed in virtually every civil lawsuit.  While simple in concept, there are a myriad of rules, written and unwritten, that much be followed.  There can be serious adverse consequences for not following rules, so having the benefit of experienced litigation counsel is critical.  


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With offices in Toledo and Lima, OH Allotta Farley Co., L.P.A. serves clients throughout northwest OH with various legal matters. Areas of service include Allen County, Ashland County, Auglaize County, Crawford County, Defiance County, Erie County, Fulton County, Hancock County, Hardin County, Henry County, Huron County, Lucas County, Marion County, Mercer County, Morrow County, Ottawa County, Paulding County, Putnam County, Richland County, Sandusky County, Seneca County, Van Wert County, Williams County, Wood County, Wyandot County.

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