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What Is the Discovery Stage of a Lawsuit?

Everyone who’s been wronged in business, or who’s been taken advantage financially during probate or in a trust, wants to go after the other parties to file a lawsuit against them.

Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth, managing partner of Bloodworth Law, PLLC, in Orlando and Winter Haven, Florida, talks to clients about the time involved in a lawsuit, and the stages in which a lawsuit proceeds.

In the first stage of a lawsuit – the pleadings stage – Reed explains that he files a complaint stating what the other party did wrong, and the harm that was caused by actions taken by the other party.

Reed said that the second stage of a lawsuit is the discovery stage.

What is the Discovery Stage of a Lawsuit?

The discovery stage is made up of:

  1. Paper discovery
  2. Evidence; and
  3. Questions

Paper discovery means that Reed and the Bloodworth Law team attempt to gather all available information pertaining to a client case. It’s evidence —  and a lot of that evidence comes from a range of official sources: police records, contracts, paperwork signed by parties involved. It includes information provided in statements by witnesses, and parties involved. Then, Reed builds a case.

The other thing that Reed does is serve written questions to the defendant. Those questions are known as interrogatories, and Reed has to get answers to those questions. Those are usually more basic questions such as who was involved, and what happened.

The other standard discovery tool is a deposition which maybe you’ve seen on TV.

What Happens in a Deposition?

The deposition involves the plaintiff, or the defendant, and their legal representation. Both parties may be represented, but you are not necessarily going to be seeing the defendant or the plaintiff. You are more likely to see the opposition’s attorney in the deposition.

The opposing counsel is allowed to ask you questions about what happened in the incident. Don’t worry, Reed will prepare you in advance for the deposition so that you understand what will happen. Reed will also be at the deposition with you.

You will be asked questions and Reed will be there to raise objections if the opposing attorney becomes aggressive or asks questions that are not allowed.

The reason the deposition is held is because both sides want to know exactly what’s going to be said in a court of law if the case goes to trial. Stories must be clear and should not change.

If the other side attempts to say something different during a trial, Reed can then cross-examine them with their previous testimony.

If you’re facing trust litigation, probate litigation, business litigation or employment law disputes, give Reed a call and find out how Bloodworth Law can help you, your family, or your business.

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