For plaintiffs handling their Orange County personal injury cases pro per, or without legal representation, discovery can be a very tedious and overwhelming part of the legal process. Discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which each party may obtain evidence from the opposing party. Discovery is requested by submitting requests for answers to interrogatories, requests for production of documents and requests for admissions and depositions. Discovery can also be obtained from non-parties by using subpoenas.
From AVVO Legal Q & A Website:
Original Question (excerpt):
“About two weeks after I filed suit I was bombarded with every form of formal discovery from 4 defendants. I tried my best to answer their questions but some of it can’t be discovered in the 30 days allowed… “ read full question at AVVO
Eric Dubin’s Answer (excerpt):
“If you are pro per in a big money case-hire a lawyer. Bad discovery responses can kill your case, especially request for admissions. Yes, there are ways to get a protective order on discovery, but I don’t think a judge will be impressed if you don’t have a lawyer. All sides, INCLUDING YOU, have a right to discovery.” read Eric’s full answer at AVVO
Know your rights when it comes to Discovery Procedures
Many defense attorneys have been known to drown a pro per plaintiff in paperwork, hoping that they will waive their rights to objection or miss the normal 30 day deadline to respond and get the case thrown out. Bad discovery responses can kill your case, especially with request for admissions. Here are some tips if you run into this issue:
- Request an extension from the opposing party. Make sure you get this extension in writing!
- Request a protective order from the judge. A Protective order is an order that prevents the disclosure of certain information under circumstances when one of the parties is using discovery to harass or annoy another party or an outside witness.
- Hire an Orange County Personal Injury Attorney. In big money cases, it is probably best to look into professional legal representation from a personal injury attorney. Judges do not cut slack to those that are pro per – they will treat you the same as a lawyer who graduated from Harvard Law and will expect you to know the intricacies of California law and its procedures.
If you need further help with your personal injury case, let the experience of Eric Dubin help you get the compensation you deserve! You may contact Eric via email or call him directly at 714-381-1275.
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- Handling Discovery Situations by Yourself - May 9, 2013