Discovery in Litigation
Discovery for Self-represented Litigants
The discovery process is the part of the lawsuit that requires an exchange of documents between parties. At times, the process can be lengthy. The purpose of discovery is to uncover facts of evidence which may assist or hurt a case. Parties can also uncover whether there is agreement between the parties on a specific matter or course of events.
In some cases, discover is not available. For instance, actions started by petitions cannot rely on the discovery process. Additionally, litigants must be mindful of different rules that apply to fast-track litigation.
In cases where discovery is available, documents and evidence should be organized in a presentable way for the opposing party to review.
How is the Discovery Process Organized?
While most lawsuits follow a standard format, some steps are skipped while additional steps may have to be followed. Every lawsuit is unique and will require a thorough assessment of the facts to determine a lawsuit’s trajectory.
The first step of the discovery process involves disclosure. In this step, both parties disclose the documents, evidence and materials they will be relying on at trial. These documents, materials and evidence are either used to prove or disprove a material fact of a case.
What are the components of Discovery?
Four actions that can be utilised include (i) examination for discovery, (ii) interrogatories, (iii) pre-trial examination of witnesses, and (iv) notice to admit.
Examination for Discovery
Examination for discovery occurs during a meeting. One party asks the other party a series of questions to ascertain certain facts.
Interrogatories involve a series of written questions that are sent to the other party to answer. The answers are provided in turn, in writing. Self-represented litigants must be aware that interrogatories may only be used with permission from the court (also known as “leave”).
Pre-trial Examination of a witness
The pre-trial examination of a witness involves the questioning of a witness who is not a part to the action or lawsuit. If a witness has material facts to your case, it is a good idea to conduct a pre-trial examination. Litigants must be mindful the pre-trial examinations require leave of the court.
Notice to Admit
A notice to admit is used when one party tries to have the other party ascertain as to the truth of something.
If you are a self-represented litigant requiring assistance with your discovery, contact one of our lawyers to take advantage of our unbundled services. Our Vancouver and Surrey lawyers are here to assist you with your lawsuit. Get in touch with one of our dispute attorneys today. Call us today at 604-930-9578 or 1-800-930-9986.