Responding to Discovery
Discovery is an important, but time-consuming part of litigation. To make the process move smoothly, we have created this guide for our clients on how to prepare responses to discovery requests we receive from other parties.
What is Discovery?
Discovery the general term for the stage in litigation where each party can send requests for information to the other parties or other people who might have information related to the case. The types of discovery requests we may receive or that we may send to other parties are Requests for Production of Documents, Interrogatories (written questions about the lawsuit), and Requests for Admissions (written statements that the other party requests that you either admit or deny). Additionally, each party may request to conduct depositions, which is an opportunity to ask the opposing party questions under oath before trial. Parties may also request an inspection of any building or property that is subject to the lawsuit.
Discovery identifies the claims and defenses made by the parties and to help narrow issues for the court as many issues are often undisputed. The standards for what information can be requested in a discovery request are very lenient, and the basic rule is that parties can ask for any information that is relevant or might lead to the discovery of relevant information. As such, these requests may seem excessive or not directly related to the litigation, but for the most part, you are expected to answer the questions or provide the documents.
You can learn more about litigation discovery by visiting our litigation resources page on our website.
How can I view the requests we receive?
When we get a discovery request from another party, we will send you an email that contains a link to the discovery worksheet. This worksheet is an online database that includes each of the requests and will help walk you through preparing your responses.
The primary screen you view when accessing the discovery database will show the list of requests that are currently pending. Please note there may be a single request or numerous sets of requests. This is because there are multiple types of requests that can be sent and each request worksheet is limited to ten requests each. Please be sure to complete the responses to all requests when responding.
Please note that the due date will become red three (3) days before the due date on this request. This due date is a few days before the date we must submit the responses to the court as we are building in time to ensure we can review the responses before submission. Although extensions can be obtained, it is best if you try to get all responses completed prior to the due date.
To view information about a particular request, you simply click on it. This will open an overview screen that will provide you with basic information about the request, including any instructions from opposing counsel and links to referenced documents. You should review this screen before proceeding to complete the responses. Moreover, please note that the overview screen contains a link for help (this webpage).
Discovery Request Worksheet
Requests for Admissions or Interrogatories
To begin working on responses to a request, you will click on the “edit” button in the top right corner of the overview screen. The request will be listed in the first box that says, “Request [#]”. You can simply type your response in the box below that is title “Response [#].” When you enter all your responses, please be sure to click to submit (or update) to save your responses.
Requests for Production
For requests for production, you can review the requests and provide any comments as indicated above for interrogatories and requests for admissions. The easiest way to provide us with documents is to upload them electronically to www.rickdavislegal.com/discovery. If you would like guidance on how to upload documents, please visit http://rickdavislegal.com/uploading-rfp-documents/. If you would like help uploading photos or text messages from your phone, please visit http://rickdavislegal.com/sharing-text-messages-through-dropbox/. If you do not have any documents related to the request, please notate as such in the text box in the database for our reference.
Saving Your Work
It is very likely you will not be able to respond to all the requests in one sitting. Therefore, it may be important to save your work as a draft. To do this, simply scroll to the bottom of the requests worksheet and click “Update.” This will save what you have entered into the database and you will be able to come back and edit those responses until you mark the responses complete as set forth below.
Completing the Responses
When you have answered all of the questions or uploaded all of the relevant photos or documents, you will want to click the box at the of the screen that says “COMPLETE: Please check this box when all responses have been entered.” This will notify the firm that you have completed the responses so we can review the same.
The rules for discovery are very lenient and for the most part, you will be required to respond to every request. The flip side is that so will the other side, which helps us to gather all of the information necessary to best litigate your case. If there is something that you do not need to respond to in the requests, we will mark this and you will not have the option to “add” responses. Instead, there will be a message written in red that says “No Answer Required due to Objection.” If this message is present, you can ignore that particular request.
Printing a Copy of the Requests
If you would like to print a copy of the requests, you can do so by going to the overview screen and clicking the “more” button. From there, you can select either to download a PDF or to print a list of all the requests and related documents. Please note that if you download a PDF, the links to the related documents will stay intact, which may make it easier to reference when reviewing the requests.
If you need any additional assistance or would prefer to respond to the requests in a different manner, please contact our office. Moreover, we are always happy to schedule a time to discuss these discovery requests in more detail. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (913) 283-8300, or you can schedule an appointment online at www.rickdavislegal.com/appointments.