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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Discovering Discovery

I can't talk much about work here. It's unfortunate, because some pretty interesting things go on, even in my little world of civil law practice at a somewhat-big-for-Indy firm.

That said, I'd like to share some general impressions of pretrial discovery, which I'll describe generally as the process of getting information from and sharing information with the opposing party in a lawsuit. For starters, I hate it.

I'm also quickly falling into the camp that eschews interrogatories (questions, ideally about the case, sent to the opposing party) in favor of requests for admissions and requests for production of documents, especially when your case looks good from the start. Be specific with requests for admission and get the other side to admit as much as possible, much as it will pain them.

When interrogatories are necessary or desired, I vote for making them specific. I understand (and at times appreciate) the convenience of sending out a stock set of questions. But in the end, I think the time saved on the front end is spent later, sifting through rote answers to rote questions and figuring out some new way of getting responses that actually contain information, good or bad, along with the legalese.

Lastly, for now, I've learned that I need to be aggressive with clients. I am the sort of person who doesn't like to bug or offend people. This has come back to bite me in the XL more than once already with respect to discovery. When I request information from my clients I am going to build in a substantial amount of time between when I reasonably need the information and when our deadline for responding to discovery requests is. For some reason clients, even those who are legally savvy and accustomed to dealing with lawsuits, don't seem to appreciate the legal consequences of not responding by established deadlines.

That's all. Back to work.


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Taking Down Words
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advanced maternal age
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code blog: tales of a nurse
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Overheard in New York
The Perils of Being in 3D
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