The Pre-Trial Process including Discovery

After a divorce, support, or custody case is filed in the court, clients are often surprised when they receive discovery requests from opposing counsel. Even though you talk about the discovery process with your attorney, hearing about it and receiving it are not the same. It probably sounded better when the other party was going to receive it and work to prepare a response.

Discovery is the process by which potential evidence is exchanged between the parties (through counsel). It usually consists of Interrogatories — written questions answered under oath — and Requests for Documents — the exchange of documents related to the case.  Discovery requests can seem overwhelming, intrusive, and stressful due to the scope and tight timeline. But be assured, the paralegals at Stiles Ewing Powers are here to help you organize and prepare your responses. We can answer your questions so that you can respond to the discovery properly and meet the due dates laid out by law.

Discovery is the way attorneys gather much of the factual and necessary information to prepare your case.  Your attorney needs this information to advocate for you in court or to help to reach a settlement out of court.  The information requested is normally about assets, debts, income, and actions or behaviors relevant to your case. The information requested by the other attorney is often needed by your attorney as well.  It helps everyone for you to be thorough in your written answers and gathering of documents. The Stiles Ewing Powers paralegal staff works closely with you to make the process as smooth as possible.

After the discovery is exchanged between the parties, if there is no agreement or order resolving the issues, a pre-trial order will be entered by the court, setting the trial date on the court’s docket.  The pre-trial order is like a project plan, establishing deadlines and timelines for each stage in the process. Cases can take a long time or a short time from start to finish; each case is unique. Our paralegals support the attorneys, keep your case on track by calendaring due dates and timelines, and keep you informed. We look forward to working with you and guiding you through this process.