Attorneys gather evidence and information about a litigated claim through a discovery in court. Discovery comes in many forms. It can be a written discovery i.e. in the form of written requests for information or question-and-answer sessions called depositions.
A deposition is a unique fact-gathering tool. It also allows the attorney to assess the credibility and likability of a witness. Many people are willing to answer questions more in-depth when they sit across the table from a lawyer compared to answering written questions on paper. However, a deposition is sometimes just the beginning of gathering facts and information to support a case or defend a claim.
Below, Brandon Salumbides shares some of his tips for sending discovery in court for new attorneys. Salumbrides sits on the Alumni Association Board for new attorneys at Southwestern Law School. He assists new attorneys with the transition from law school to law practice by providing accurate, practical tips for new lawyers.
Sending Written Discovery After a Deposition: A Must to Further Investigate Information
Sending written discovery (interrogatories, requests for admissions, or requests for the production of documents) after deposition can accomplish three main goals:
1. Address New Information
New information often presents itself in a deposition. For example, imagine you are deposing an employee of a company. The employee mentions a written memorandum that they received that directly relates to the issues in your case. If you have not seen this memo, sending a request for production to ask for a copy of it is a must.
Sending a request for this information while the facts are fresh right after the deposition is a great time to ask for discovery documents.
2. Force the Other Party into a Certain Position
In many situations, one party will say that they do not have enough information to provide complete answers to interrogatories or a discovery request. Certain information might have come up during the deposition, giving them the background they need to respond to your requests.
Even if you received a good response at a deposition, such as admitting to fault or another critical fact of the case, getting a written response to the same issue through discovery can be very helpful. It can lock in the party to what they have already said at the deposition and provide further evidence you can use at trial.
3. Force the Other Party to Address Contradictions
Both parties usually go into a deposition with a particular stance. They might deny fault or commit to a certain fact. However, the deposition might uncover some contradictions with that stance. Perhaps the party admitted they were going 45 miles per hour instead of 25 miles per hour or were looking at their phone while driving. Or maybe the stance was the employer provides thorough training to each employee, but an employee states at his deposition that he was never trained. In those situations, you can send written discovery that will force the other side to address the contradiction raised in the deposition.
Get More Tips and Information from Brandon Salumbides
For more information about depositions and written discovery, reach out to Brandon Salumbides. Whether you are a new attorney or a potential client, we’re here to help.