When most attorneys speak of discovery, they are referring to formal discovery, which most often takes the form of Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, and Depositions.
As the name implies, Interrogatories are nothing more than questions that are posed to a party which must be answered under oath. These questions can be overwhelming in their scope, and most courts will limit the number of Interrogatories that a party must answer. Mr. Hayes has provided a sample set of Interrogatories for reference.
Requests for Production of Documents
Also as the name implies, Requests for Production of Documents are requests made of a party to produce documents (which includes electronic information) to the other party. Like Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents can be overwhelming in their scope. However, unlike Interrogatories, most courts do no limit the number of Requests for Documents that can be asked of a party. Mr. Hayes has provided a sample Requests for Production of Documents for reference.
Unlike Interrogatories, which are typically answered with your lawyer over the course of weeks or months, a Deposition is an oral examination of a witness where the witness is placed under oath and asked a series of questions. Other than the lack of a judge, testimony in a deposition is identical to testimony in courtroom. Depositions are a useful tool in obtaining information because unlike Interrogatories, a deposition allows for follow-up questions. Mr. Hayes has created a Deposition Guide to assist his clients in understanding and giving depositions.
Due to the time and expense involved in conducting formal discovery, it I becoming increasingly common for parties going through a divorce to opt for informal discovery if possible. One method Mr. Hayes has used with success is to have each party provide a sworn statement of all known assets and debts. While this method is not appropriate for all cases, when it is, it can save the parties a tremendous amount of time and expense. However, at a minimum, each party should be required to execute a Certification For Sworn Financial Statement that was created by Mr. Hayes for such use in informal discovery and can be utilized at a later date in the event one party is misleading the other with regard to the statements they are making to the other.
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To schedule an appointment, call 615-214-5500 in the Nashville, Tennessee, area, or email the firm.