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Discovery of Documents

Your court action has now, or will shortly have, reached a stage known as 'discovery'. To save time and money later, and to put each party in a position better to assess the relative merits of the case, each party must disclose to the other ALL the relevant documents in his possession, custody or control. We emphasise this is an obligation imposed upon you by court rules, and that, in modern litigation, this is given greater and greater emphasis. There are some exceptions, such as letters passing between yourself and us about the case, but you should ensure that we have all the relevant documents, and we will decide with you which if any may be withheld.

We will already have a number of letters and invoices relating to the action, but we do ask you to ensure that you let us have all other documents which you have in your possession or which any agent of yours, such as your bankers or accountant may have.

If you have computer records these are also discoverable. You must first ensure that the present state of such records (as they relate to this matter) is preserved, and then discuss with us how such evidence may be produced.

If there are any documents which you once had, but which you now no longer have (apart from the ones left with us), you should let us have a list giving full details, since these details must also be disclosed.

There is a time limit within which we must provide this list to the other side, and we ask you to treat this as a matter of priority.

This is troublesome, and may appear unimportant to you, but it is essential that the rules are complied with. Any failure to do so might cause serious problems at the trial, and leave you open to a costs order..

It may be that you know of some document which the other side ought to have, and which will be useful to your case. Please let us know if there is any such, and we can check the list which they will provide to us.

Important: Please note that our law-bytes are retained for archival purposes only. The law changes, and these notes are often, now, out of date. You must take direct advice on your own personal situation and the law as it currently stands.
All information on this site is in general and summary form only. The content of any page on this site may be out of date and or incomplete, and you should not not rely directly upon it. Take direct professional legal advice which reflects your own particular situation.
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Copyright and Database Rights: David Swarbrick 2012
18 October 2013 http://www.swarb.co.uk/lawb/litDiscovery.shtml 124 18 October 2013