Discovery is a dynamic process that presents new and unique challenges with each case. Unfortunately, a lot of discovery involves an abundance of documents, data, records and other paperwork. If you feel overwhelmed during discovery, take solace in knowing it is not your fault. Discovery has quickly become a burdensome process in which some attorneys hit their opposition with an avalanche of questions to paralyze them through analysis. Here is a look at how to lighten the discovery load and streamline your cases.
Pinpoint Facts and Identify Missing Pieces
Intelligent discovery requires an overarching sense of what is coveted. Take some time to interact with the client and experts on the matter to form a thorough understanding. This is your launching pad to draft a statement of the facts. Writing this document makes it that much easier to outline what you believe to be true and the material facts already known. Furthermore, a statement of the facts will make it easier to prove the other party wrong and pinpoint the missing pieces you anticipate discovery filling. If it turns out this is several items, create a question list you can transmit to the witness and rely upon as a foundation for your request for production.
Confirm Your Knowledge
As soon as you have formed your initial group of questions, spend some time crafting an interview and series of questions. Determine the individual you will speak with before brainstorming the best questions to ask. Revise your questions as deemed appropriate throughout the process, create several questionnaires and it will be that much easier to obtain a legitimate response. Be prepared to ask witnesses to delve into the scope of records that could hold the facts you need. Instead of asking if any relevant items such as memos or records are stored off-site, ask if there are any such items including digital forms such as the cloud, flash drives, emails, etc.
Use Witnesses to Bolster Your Case
The top witnesses will verify where data resides, how it can be accessed and the sources not to include in the search. Some such people might also be called upon to serve as 30(b)(6) witnesses so be sure to pick their brains ahead of time. Custom tailor questions according to each’s role to obtain the best possible results.
Collect Data for In-depth Analysis
As soon as the facts are documented, determine the type of data available, its location and you can begin putting the puzzle together. This final step is essential for setting the scope of collection that will ultimately determine data volume.