legal matter discovery

Discovery is the process of exchanging documents and information. If you are in the middle of a legal matter, you will likely be requested to provide personal documents to your attorney, who will in turn give those documents to the other party (if and when they are requested). This process is often formal, through the use of RFP’s (Requests for Production of Documents). An RFP is a method of obtaining documents from the other party. It is generally a large list of documents that one side of a legal matter is requesting from another. In some legal matters, such as collaborative or mediation cases, attorneys and their clients opt to exchange documents more informally. Discovery can also include depositions and RFA’s (Request for Admissions). When it comes to gathering information from the other party, there are several tools at an attorney’s disposal. Your attorney will help you decide which tools are best for your situation.

Common documents that are requested during the discovery process are financial statements, tax returns, credit reports, income records, deeds, social media, text messages, etc. Discovery can be daunting and frustrating, but your attorney is there to guide you through it. Just because the other party requests certain information does not necessarily mean they are entitled to it. Your attorney can give you legal advice regarding discovery and ensure your best interests are looked after.

The discovery process can be very costly. There is often an extreme number of documents being exchanged. It takes time for your legal team to review and organize these documents. While you can’t control the other party and their decisions regarding discovery- you can control yourself. The two best ways to save money during the discovery process is to get documents to your attorney in a timely manner (they will provide you with a deadline), and to organize your documents before providing them. The paralegals and legal assistants at your firm will spend time reviewing, redacting, and organizing your documents. The best way to minimize the time they spend working on your matter is to organize the documents as best as you can before providing them. This includes clearly naming all files and compiling certain statements and documents together. It’s a great idea to call your attorney’s staff to find out exactly how they’d like you to organize your documents. A subscription to Adobe or another document management service can be a huge help.

The discovery process can be overwhelming but your legal team is there to help. If you find yourself needing legal advice regarding discovery, or any other aspect of your family law case, don’t hesitate to give us a call!