Written by attorney Frederic March Douglas | Nov 10, 2011

Goals for Discovery in Litigation

Formulating a discovery plan is necessary for effectively conducting litigation. The discovery process (essentially, gathering evidence) is usually the most critical and costly part of litigation. Failure to make a good plan can easily set a case up for excess costs, wastes of time, and evidentiary disasters.

Detailed discovery planning increases the likelihood of ending the litigation on the best terms feasible. If you have solid evidence to counter a major point of your litigation opponent, then you may seriously expect to persuade the opponent to concede that point.

Merely just going through the motions and hoping to pull off a miraculous presentation at trial should be parts of a Hollywood script but not a part of your litigation strategy, which involves a real case pursued with your real dollars.

While making your discovery plan, assess whether you have a chance at settling the case at an early point. If that is the case, it probably is better to allocate funds to sweetening the settlement offer instead of spending the same funds on protracted discovery.

If early settlement seems unlikely, discovery may serve to “discover" a basis to bring the case to early settlement or an early dismissal.

Discovery results can be essential for winning motions for summary judgment, motions in limine, or other motions to narrow the issues in dispute for trial.

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