If you are suing another party in a civil case, then before you go to trial, you will go through a process called discovery. If you’re not familiar with the discovery process, don’t worry-Ottawa law firms that specialize in personal injury law or otherwise engage in civil suits have performed this duty to their clients time and time again. What this entails is the confirmation of details pertaining to the case before it goes to trial. There is a document discovery, in which pertinent documents are gathered, and an examination for discovery, where the parties may ask each other to answer relevant questions. The goal is to reduce the amount of time spent in court gathering evidence and ascertaining the truth about the events at issue in the proceeding, allowing time to be used wisely. After both parties agree to a written discovery plan, the process may begin.
The discovery of documents entails producing all relevant documents that you intend to use in court, as well as requesting to see pertinent documents in the other party’s possession. These documents include both physical and electronic documents, and can consist of letters, emails, forms, photographs, audio/video recordings, maps, and anything else that relates to the case, particularly any detail that is in dispute. Both parties will collect the documents that they have in their possession or otherwise have access to, and list them all in what is called an affidavit. You will provide the other party your affidavit, and vice versa, and each party can then request to see any document listed. You must list, but are not required to disclose, and privileged documents as well. If you are unsure whether or not a document is privileged, consult your Ottawa law firm.
Examinations for Discovery
After the affidavit of documents has been served and a statement of defence has been made, both parties can conduct an examination for discovery. Aside from yourself, the plaintiff, the defendant, the lawyers for both parties, and an official examiner who produces a transcript of everything said in examination will all be present. A judge may not sit in on this process. During the examination, you may ask questions to clarify the course of events and help establish a clearer picture of the facts. This is done under oath. Both parties are also required to provide additional information afterwards, for example answers that were not available at the time of examinations or corrections to mistaken information.
Other optional steps in the discovery process include an inspection of any property involved in the events of the case, and a physical or mental examination of one of the parties by a medical professional. The latter is performed when the health or condition of a party is relevant to the case, such as when the incident in question has caused serious harm, injury, disability, or distress to the plaintiff.
To prepare for the discovery process of your injury case, consult with the team of personal injury lawyers at your Ottawa law firm