An examination for discovery is usually held in an office located downtown, in or near the Court House of the Judicial District where an action is commenced, or where the person resides.
It is an informal hearing which takes place before the lawyers for all parties and a reporter who takes down your evidence. Prior to the examination you will be required to take an Oath or affirm that the statements that you make will be the truth.
The other parties to your action are usually not present during your examination.
An examination for discovery is to enable all parties to establish the position of the other side in the action. Straightforward questions will be asked of you concerning the details of your claim.
A meeting with us needs to be arranged, to prepare you for the discovery. A Chronology & Summary of Evidence will be provided to you. Please review this document to:
1. advise me of any corrections and/or additions to make, to better tell your story;
2. permit you to know what is in your records.
You are not expected to memorize the Chronology & Summary of Evidence.
If you have any questions, be sure to write them down and ask your lawyer before the Examination for Discovery takes place.
The following points should be carefully remembered at the time of discoveries:
- Dress appropriately, as if you are appearing in court.
- Listen closely to the question, understand the question and answer only to that question, pausing before answering.
- Do not volunteer additional information not called for by the question itself.
- Never guess. If you do not know the answer or are not sure, say so and do not be afraid to admit you do not know. If you are not sure concerning figures, say that the figures you give are approximate, not exact.
- Essentially, every question may be answered in one of three ways:
1. with 100% certainty
2. less than 100% certainty (ie. I think…, I believe…)
3. I do not know or I do not remember.
- Answer the questions as briefly and directly as possible.
- Do not become angry with the other lawyer; remember he is only doing his job and has no personal grievance against you.
- Remember that everything that is being said is taken down by the reporter and will be included on the record.
- Accuracy and truthfulness are of utmost importance.
- Be full and complete concerning injuries or damage, depending on the nature of the claim.
- If I object to a question being asked by the lawyer for the other party, do not answer until it has been decided whether it is a proper question.
- Do not anticipate the lawyer’s question, nor answer before it is completed.
One of the most important goals of a discovery is to ensure that the other lawyer, at the end of the discovery, leaves the room with the impression that truthful answers have been given.