RE: The discovery process and why it is done.
As with all new associates, I am sending you this memo to detail one of the most important elements in all cases accepted by this or any law firm. That element being discovery. Discovery is the complete process of getting to know the nuts and bolts of a case before trial. Common law has determined that in order to litigate a case fairly, each party has the right to know, and will share, all details of each case without surprise, deceit or trickery. Surprises are not welcomed during trials. Therefore, all information, including but not limited to, information about the plaintiff and defendant, witness lists, expert witness list, basis for lawsuit and any evidence must be shared with the other party. Any documents or strategy prepared by you or your staff with the intention of going to trial will be considered work product and will NOT be included in discovery. There are five methods of the discovery process and you must decide which is appropriate for each case.
1) Depositions: questioning a witness while they are under oath before trial. This can be costly.
2) Interrogatories: written questions answered in writing under oath. This is time consuming.
3) Requests for documents and entry upon land for inspection: each party is entitled by law to documentation pertaining to the case and allowed to enter and photograph the property involved in the case.
4) Request for a mental or physical examination: each party has the right to this request as long as it pertains to the condition that is the subject of the lawsuit.
5) Request for admission: requesting that a party to the case admit to the authenticity of documents and the truthfulness of facts or evidence, so as to not take up time during trial
In the state of Massachusetts, discovery is ruled and conducted according to M.R.C.P.26. Please read this rule carefully and compile a checklist that will serve as a blueprint to...