• Morris Williams LLC

Discovery - Don't Let the Deadlines Get You Down

We all know deadlines are important, whether they be given by our boss in the form of an assigned project or given by our veterinarian reminding us to schedule our dog’s yearly checkup – don’t forget! Often, we prioritize a given deadline by asking ourselves what could or will likely happen if the deadline is not kept. Likewise, in the legal arena, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that there are a lot of deadlines to prioritize during the duration of your case. These deadlines can be imposed through the law, the judge, or even your attorney. One of the ways you can make your life easier throughout the course of your case is to actually follow the deadlines that apply to you and your case as there may be negative consequences if you do not. A common situation where deadlines arise in your matter may be during the “discovery” process.

Discovery is a formal process that allows each party in a case to obtain information through the receipt and review of documents (Request for Production of Documents) and/or answers to questions (Interrogatories) that are provided by the other party. The purpose is to determine if the other party has information relevant to your court matter. This might mean you or the other party would have to provide bank account information or statements. It might also mean that you or the other party would have to provide specific information regarding your mental and physical health histories. It is important to keep in mind that not all court cases allow for formal discovery to occur; however, if your case does involve the formal discovery process, there will always be deadlines that require compliance. 

If you or the other party do not take this process seriously and fail to provide all answers to questions and requested documentation, the other party could file a motion against you to get what you have failed to provide. Often, when a motion of this nature if filed, there is also a motion for you to pay costs and expenses that have been incurred through the efforts to get you to comply, which are also known as attorney’s fees. Further, once in court after this motion has been filed, you could be required to pay a fine for not complying with the required deadlines from the judge. Finally, the judge could even prevent you from presenting evidence at a future trial if you have failed to provide the other party with what was request. The bottom line is that you should always follow deadlines in the discovery process. It may sound simple, but not doing so could lead to a lot of wasted time and expense. 

Every case is different when it comes to discovery matters, and there can be legitimate legal reasons to not respond or provide information requested by the other party, which you may have questions about. Contact us today for your discovery related questions, so we can empower you to make the best decisions for your future. To schedule a consultation, call us at (757) 266-9425 or by email at admin@morriswilliamslaw.com.

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