The vast majority of cases, whether dealing with family law, business law or some other type of civil complaint, resolve through some sort of settlement negotiation. This can occur on the parties’ own terms, or it could occur through alternative dispute resolution means like mediation or arbitration. Despite the success of these methods, they are not successful in all cases. When negotiations fail and a case looks like it’s going to trial, individuals need to make sure that they are ready to litigate as fully and aggressively as possible in order to protect their best interests.
Although courtroom skills are most frequently portrayed on television and in the movies, much of successful litigation is built through thorough preparation. This includes preparing witnesses and anticipating objections, but even these steps are preceded by discovery. Discovery is the process through which one side to a lawsuit obtains or “discovers” all pertinent information held by the other side.
Discovery can take many forms. It can be a simple request for documents, but it can also involve questioning witnesses during a recorded deposition or requesting admissions prior to trial. Written questions, called interrogatories, can also be submitted to opposing parties. The purpose of these discovery methods, in addition to gathering information, is to lock witnesses and opponents into particular stories or facts. This then allows one to point out contradictions during trial and better tailor his or her legal arguments to push back against the defense’s position.
There can be a significant number of documents and witnesses to sift through prior to litigation. Fortunately, those who are considering pursuing litigation can acquire the assistance of skilled legal professionals like those at our firm. A qualified legal advocate will know how to issue and respond to discovery requests, which would allow for one to obtain the complete, competent and aggressive representation he or she deserves in court.