Discovery: It's a legal term
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
When you hear the word “discovery,” you probably think of the television channel, the credit card company, or science. However, it’s also an important legal concept.
The term “discovery” refers to the process by which parties to a lawsuit exchange information prior to trial. Discovery in civil cases is typically more voluminous, and the Rules of Civil Procedure provide a party to a lawsuit with many ways to obtain information: depositions, wherein one party questions a witness in person while the witness is under oath; interrogatories, wherein one party sends questions to another party in writing that must be answered; requests to admit, wherein one party asks another party, in writing, to admit or deny the existence of certain facts.
Although discovery in criminal cases is more limited, the Constitution places special obligations on the prosecutor to provide information to the accused. Specifically, the Due Process Clauses of the Constitution require both federal prosecutors and state prosecutors to provide accused with all information in possession of the prosecution team that is favorable to the accused. In other words, if prosecutors have evidence that hurt their cases, they must provide that evidence to the accused.
While I was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, I was tasked by the U.S. Attorney to train federal prosecutors and federal agents on how to provide discovery to accused. If you hire me as your lawyer, I will do everything possible to get all of the evidence to which you would be entitled. This matters. Call me.