Discovery is the pre-trial process by which parties exchange various formal requests in an attempt to uncover relevant information for use during the litigation process. Evidence uncovered during the Discovery process is used to present the parties’ case in settlement negotiation and trial.
Our firm employs skilled professionals who have many years of experience in handling all aspects of Discovery. Very few boutique-sized law firms have comparable resources to engage in effective and thorough Discovery. Our Senior Discovery Paralegal, Marianne Banchero has been with the firm for over 10 years and manages Discovery under the direction of the attorney assigned to each client’s case.
Our extensive knowledge of the California Discovery Code and our combined legal research and writing skills enable us to apply for court orders when a party or witness refuses to comply with Discovery. When forced to seek court intervention in compelling compliance with Discovery, we have an excellent track record of not only winning on our motions, but also obtaining orders for monetary sanctions and attorney’s fees on behalf of our clients.
Below are examples of typical Discovery instruments used in Family Law cases:
- Form Interrogatories – Family Law—general questions regarding typical issues involved in dissolution proceedings. These are used to gather the most basic information including personal history, assets, income, separate property claims, and outstanding debts.
- Depositions—opportunities for our clients to hear sworn oral testimony given under oath from the opposing party, their experts, witnesses, and other individuals. Deposition transcripts can be used to prepare for trial and the transcripts of parties can be used in other court proceedings.
- Demand for Production of Documents—formal requests for documents or the inspection of property in the possession of the opposing party. These requests often require the opposing party to produce financial documents such as bank statements, stock portfolios, credit card statements, tax returns, wills, and trusts in order to obtain an accurate accounting of the financial aspect of the dissolution.
- Subpoenas—formal requests made to third parties to provide pertinent records. Our office typically issues subpoenas to banks, lenders, credit card companies, employers, and many other financial institutions and business entities.
Our Discovery professionals work with our clients to gather specific information to aid in the process of propounding the above formal requests, and also work with our clients to prepare their responses to any formal requests made by the opposing party. The Discovery process can be a daunting task to complete alone, but with our experience, we make the process as easy as possible for our clients.