What is an Examination for Discovery?
An examination for discovery is a very important part of almost every civil lawsuit. It is not a trial but rather something that happens pre-trial. It’s process where the lawyers for the opposing each side, questions other parties or their employees, under oath, about the matters that are involved in the lawsuit
Where does the Discovery take place?
The Discouvery usually takes place at Court Reporter’s offices. The proceeding are recorded and testimony is give under oath.The court reporter records everything that is said and produces a transcript to be used by either side in the courtroom. Your lawyer will inform you as to when and where the Examination for Discovery will take place.
How important is an Examination for Discovery?
The importance of these Discoveries cannot be overstated. It is a legal record of the matters concerning your case and will make or break your injury claim.
How to Prepare for Discovery
Your lawyer will coach you on how to answer questions. The basic rules are to always tell the truth and give short concise answers without elaboration. The more you say, the more opportunity for confusion and conjecture.
Try to stay calm and collected. The opposing attorney will do their best to rattle you and make you uncomfortable, it’s their job so don’t take it personally. If you feel you need a bathroom break or just some time to calm yourself go ahead and ask you’re not a prisoner. You don’t have to sit there and be intimidated into saying things you may regret.
Don’t Make Answers Up
What this means is if you were asked a question like “what the weather was like the day of your accident” for example, if you can’t remember say so, don’t guess to make things sound good. Too often people will say what they feel they are expected to say and get themselves in trouble.
Should my Lawyer be Present at the Discovery?
You have heard it said that there are “no stupid questions” so here is the straightforward answer. You would be foolish not to have legal representation at your Examination for Discovery; the opposition’s lawyer will tie you up in knots and use it against you in court. If you think you can outsmart the opposing lawyer then you will be playing right into their hands. Remember your lawyer is a personal injury expert and wants to win as badly as you. Let them do their work, that’s how they get paid.
Watch this video to find out more about what happens in an Examination for Discovery