Understanding the Discovery Process

Every legal case tried in the American justice system since the 1940s has required that both sides disclose all relevant facts and documents of the case they have collected to each other prior to trial. This is what is known as the discovery process, which is itself comprised of three basic forms: depositions, written discovery, and document preparation.

Here, our wrongful death attorney in Wilmington NC provides a more thorough explanation of the discovery process so you can have a better understanding of what to expect prior to filing a lawsuit.


Depositions are the sworn statements given to the attorneys by the plaintiff and the defendant. In most cases, these involve answers to specific questions related to the case. A court reporter will make a transcript of everything that is said so it can be shared with the other side.

If you are involved in a lawsuit and you are deposed, it is important to never guess when answering the attorney's question. The purpose of a deposition is to give facts, not to speculate. If you don't know the answer to the question, then saying “I don't know” is usually the best answer.

Written Discovery

Written discovery actually consists of two things – interrogatories and requests for admission. Interrogatories are questions asked by the other side that require you to provide your version of the facts and your claims. They can either be pre-printed interrogatories, or specific questions created especially for your case. Questions can both broad and specific. Sometimes, the questions asked may not be considered “fair” or they may be difficult to understand. If this is the case, then your attorney will object to the question.

Requests for admission are not used in every case. This line of questioning directly asks a party to admit or deny certain facts pertaining to the case. In the event the individual refuses to answer or answers falsely or even later than the requested deadline, then penalties may be issued.

Document Production

Document production is when both parties share the documents that will be used to argue their case with each other. Because case file documents can become voluminous, especially in complex cases, courts are allowing access to computer files more frequently as part of document discovery.

The Goal of the Discovery Process

The goal of the discovery process is for your attorney to find out everything he or she can about your case so a strong case can be built. As a result, honesty is imperative throughout the process. Remember, even if you're the victim in a case, a lie made during the discovery process will eventually come out and if it does, your case can be ruined.

In addition, if you aren't honest with your attorney, she won't be able to do her job as effectively. This process can be lengthy, intrusive, and at times, frustrating. But, it is an essential part of the legal process.

In a Lawsuit? Get the Assistance You Need – Call Bain & Rodzik Today

The discovery process is not something you want to go through alone. If you are involved in a wrongful death lawsuit or you are going to be filing one, call Bain & Rodzik's wrongful death attorney in Wilmington NC today. We can review your case and provide you with the legal representation you need to win.

At Bain & Rodzik, we're committed to helping our clients get the justice and compensation they deserve. If you think you have a wrongful death lawsuit, call us today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. And remember, you won't pay us a penny unless we win your case.