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Pretrial Discovery - Tools Used to Uncover the Facts of a Lawsuit

Written by: Kristy Welsh

Last Updated: October 21, 2017

The early stages of a lawsuit involve the disclosure of evidence by each party which is known as pretrial discovery. Discovery is meant to eliminate surprises and to clarify what the lawsuit is about, should either party realize they should settle or drop the lawsuit.

Generally, most civil cases in the U.S. are settled right after discovery. After discovery, both sides are often in agreement regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the case and this results in a settlement which eliminates the expense of a trial.

Types of Discovery

Here are the different types of formal discovery tools that are frequently used in lawsuits.

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If allowed by your state or county rules of civil procedures, you should always ask for discovery at the minimum in the forms of requests for production of documents. You can also send your own interrogatories and requests for admissions. The only exception would be if you are sending a bill of particulars (only certain jurisdictions allow this), which can sometimes serve as all the discovery you need.

Please note: WE ARE NOT ATTORNEYS. If you are being sued, it's always a good idea to hire an attorney or get some legal assistance. If you cannot afford an attorney, a lot of people have handled their cases pro per or without a lawyer. Our articles are meant to provide basic information on handling litigation.

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