Previously on this blog we gave a brief overview of the discovery process. This includes obtaining witness and exhibit lists as well as conducting depositions and issues requests for production. The information gathered in this process can help an individual gauge the strength of his or her case and develop a legal strategy that works for him or her. However, to draft a compelling legal argument, an individual has to know how to spin the facts in light of the law to support his or her side of the story. Yet, there is another discovery tool that can streamline the process and make litigation a little easier: the request for admissions.
Requests for admission are demands that the other party either admit or deny certain facts. For example, one party can request that the other admit that he or she ordered a certain amount of goods or engaged in a certain act on a particular date. The answers to these requests should provide a certain amount of clarity and can impact the direction of the case. If the responding party cannot admit or deny the fact at issue, then it must specify why it cannot provide a clear-cut answer.
There are certain rules pertaining to requests for admissions. For example, if the requests are not answered within 20 days of being served with them, then they are deemed admitted. This ensures speedy discovery and protects the importance of these requests. Additionally, if a party refuses to admit a fact that is later proven as true, then the party that initially denied the fact in question may be held responsible for a certain portion of the trial’s costs.
Issuing and properly answering requests for admissions can be a pivotal step in aggressive and thorough litigation. In fact, how these matters are handled can make or break an individual’s case. Therefore, when dealing with discovery, whether offensively or defensively, individuals need to ensure that they are doing so to the best of their ability. This may require the assistance of a competent legal advocate.