A civil lawsuit starts with filing a “complaint” and ends either by trial, appeal or settlement. However, the vast majority of time and expense is incurred in the “discovery” process. Over 95% of the lawsuits filed get resolved by settlement, during the case’s discovery phase.
“Discovery” is the process where the parties to a lawsuit are required to disclose, under penalty of perjury, the facts, documents and witnesses that support their respective claims or defenses. It is the process in which a party obtains its evidence for trial. The discovery process is designed to “‘make a trial less a game of blindman’s bluff and more a fair contest with the basic issues and facts disclosed to the fullest practicable extent'”; California’s “discovery laws were designed to prevent trial by ambush.” (See, Greyhound Corp. v. Superior Court (1961) 56 Cal. 2d 355, 376; Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978) 84 Cal.App.3d 771, 781.)
This website is to collect and shares information regarding California civil discovery issues for attorneys, judiciary and other court officials, and anyone else interested in discovery issues. This website’s mission is to provide a resource tool to practitioners, jurists, and the public about the law regarding discovery issues in California state courts.
This website is interactive. Appropriate guest commentaries or feedback are requested. We are also interested in up-to-the-moment information that you have about your discovery issues in particular cases, including particular Judge’s discovery practices and philosophies. For instance, some Judges rarely issue discovery sanctions. We want to collect and share that information.
Santa Monica, Californa