Discovery Disputes — Can A Legal Referee Help You Move Forward?

One of the most important elements of your personal injury lawsuit — no matter on which side you fall — is discovery. Legal discovery is the exchange of evidence between two opposing parties, and it's a crux on which many cases are built. But discovery isn't always so cut-and-dried. Why might a dispute arise? And how can you resolve it? Here's what every litigant needs to know about discovery disputes and referees. 

Why Do Discovery Disputes Happen?

Both parties must participate in discovery, but that doesn't mean they must turn over everything and anything asked for. For instance, a litigant may ask a question during interrogatories that the receiver feels is irrelevant and too personal. The questioner disagrees and states why. The two do not come to an agreement. They need a third party to make the determination. 

Other discovery disputes may involve requests to produce documents that could be protected by law, answers to interrogatories that are evasive or inconclusive, failures to appear for depositions, early termination of depositions, and even the timing of meetings. 

Where Can You Get Guidance?  

There are basically two routes to get a ruling on your dispute. The first is from the judge overseeing the case. However, judges have full workloads and may not be able to get into the minutiae of all discovery issues. Or they may feel that the two parties are submitting too many unneeded motions.

In these cases, the second route to resolution is a discovery referee. This is a legal professional — such as a retired judge — who is appointed to make decisions where needed and help both parties work out other issues through mediation. Decisions of the discovery referee may be binding on all sides or they may be subject to the court's final approval. 

What Choice Do You Have In the Process?

The inclusion of a discovery referee in your case can either be voluntary or involuntary. One or both sides may request the appointment of a referee. If one party, though, doesn't agree to the idea or the individual appointed, the judge may override them. At other times, the judge in a case may order a referee to be used. This happens if it's clear that the warring parties need help staying on schedule, for instance, or they file many motions that take up too much of the court's time. 

Where Can You Learn More?

Could a discovery referee help your case? Has one been appointed or is likely to be appointed? Or is your discovery process likely to create challenging issues? If the answer to these questions is yes, meet with a personal injury law firm in your area, such as Smith Law Firm, LLC, to learn more about this valuable legal tool. 

About Me

Always Be Prepared for Accidents at Your Apartment Complex

I live in a big city, and apartment-living is the only affordable option for me. I learned my lesson about apartment complex injuries one day when I tripped over a pothole in the parking lot, fell, and suffered a concussion. I didn't think about anything else at the time other than getting to the nearest emergency room. Once I returned home and was ready to report the injury to my building owner, they had already filled the pothole and denied that it ever existed! Now, when I notice any dangers in my complex, I take photos in advance to prove they existed to help myself and others later if they suffer an injury. I am now very determined to help others who suffer these injuries, so I decided to start a blog to share accident laws and tips that I am learning. Come back often to learn your rights!

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