Discovery: Gathering Evidence for a Lawsuit

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The “discovery” portion of a lawsuit is one of the most important parts of a lawsuit. During discovery, both sides collect and exchange information pertaining to the case in preparation for trial. Discovery can be extremely time-consuming and complicated. Discoverable items can range from anything a witness or party saw, heard, or did in connection to the lawsuit to any physical or electronic documents relating to the dispute.

Informal vs. Formal Discovery
Discovery can either be informal or formal. Informal discovery includes all information-gathering a party can do on their own before a lawsuit is filed. Formal discovery often refers to the actual legal process of gathering evidence after a case has been filed.
What Does Informal Discovery Look Like?
What Does Formal Discovery Look Like?

There are several common discovery “tools” used within the legal process to gather evidence. During the formal discovery process, attorneys can object to any request. There are also rules regarding formal discovery depending on what state you reside and even what kind of case it is.


The most common discovery tools include:

The discovery process brings light to what information there is that will help each party. During discovery, parties can begin to analyze their chances of successfully litigating the case.
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