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Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Discovery: Pre-Trial Investigation and Research

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on February 18, 2016

An attorney with a briefcaseWhen it comes to having skilled attorneys on your side during a lawsuit, it's ideal to speak with the legal team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau. Our team of attorneys is committed to the people of Daytona Beach, providing robust legal counsel and representation, which includes detailed information on what to expect during the litigation process.

There are different stages and phases in personal injury lawsuits. We've previously looked at the initial filings in a case. Let's see what the next step is as a case moves forward.

The Paperwork Is Done: What Next?

Once all of the paperwork has been filed, the pre-trial phase begins. This is a period of time during which the attorneys try to gather facts and evidence that would support their respective cases. This phase can help turn up new evidence that may be beneficial to one or both parties in a given suit.

Discovery Explained

Discovery essentially refers to investigation and trying to find all facts that may be important to a case. This process generally occurs outside of the courtroom itself. In any cases that there is a dispute over some evidence or materials in the discovery phase, a judge can help resolve these matters between parties.

What Can Be Discovered

In essence, parties can obtain any information that is pertinent to a lawsuit, even in a tangential way so long as it is not considered legally protected. This includes:

  • Documents related to the incident
  • Witness testimony
  • Background information of witnesses
  • Identity of potential witnesses
  • Comments related to an incident occurring at a relevant time or place
  • Information on how a business is run or maintained

In terms of limits on discovery, this includes the following:

  • Confidential/privileged conversations that are verbal or written (e.g., conversations between spouses, lawyer/client conversations, doctor/patients conversations)
  • Private matters (e.g., issues regarding health, sexuality, religion, etc.)
  • Information on third parties outside of the suit (e.g., co-workers, family members)

Depositions

A deposition involves a face-to-face, one-on-one meeting with the other party's individual witnesses. This allows an attorney to question the witness under oath, recording responses to be used during the trial phase of a case. This helps ensure that a witness has a consistent story that is not changed. Changes in the story can be noted to the jury during trial.

Requests for Production of Evidence

This will involve formal requests for any evidence related to the case. This may involve documents of various kinds (e.g., contracts, bills, records) as well as permission to examine any physical evidence (e.g., a product or motor vehicle).

Interrogatories

Similar to depositions, interrogatories are written questions and responses that are sent between parties in a lawsuit. These are also admissible in court.

Requests for Admission

A request for admission involves one party in a lawsuit to get the other party to admit to the authenticity of certain facts of pieces of evidence. This admission is done under oath to establish various issues to be considered during the trial.

Speak with the Attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau

For more information about your legal options and what to expect during the litigation process, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau will help you in your time of legal need.

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