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Discovery

Discovery is conducted in order to obtain information for use in settlement or at trial about a case. It in essence involves requests for information in the possession of the other party that can aid in resolving the legal dispute. The two most common and least expensive types of discovery are interrogatories and requests for production of documents. Depositions are also a method of discovery, however are more expensive and involve recording of the proceeding and purchase and review of transcripts. For family law cases, Colorado has pattern interrogatories and requests for production that are standardized. Parties may also ask ten customized questions.

Timeframes

Discovery may be propounded after the Initial Status Conference or after a stipulated case management plan is filed. If ten additional questions are not sufficient, a request to the Court can be made to allow more customized requests. Answers are due within 35 days after service.

Purpose of Discovery

There are many purposes of discovery such as:

  • The obtain information from the other party about the case
  • To establish the other party’s position
  • To impeach (meaning to question the credibility of the other party if he or she offers inconsistent facts)
  • To obtain factual admissions from the other party
Interrogatory Answers

The interrogatories must be answered separately and fully as well as in writing and under oath. A party may object to answering, however if objecting must identify whether responsive information exists. The party does not need to answer the question until the Court rules on the objection. The scope of discovery is broad and not limited to what information will be admissible at trial.

Protection From Discovery Abuse

A party can object if discovery questions are propounded solely for the purpose of annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense. The opposing party should always confer with opposing counsel with regards to discovery objections. The Court can offer remedies such as:

  • Preventing specific disclosure or discovery
  • Setting terms and conditions on discovery
  • Limiting methods
  • Limiting the scope of discovery topics
  • Protecting trade secrets or confidential business information
  • Sealing records
Failure to Make Disclosures

A party may file a motion to compel with permission of the Court when the other party unreasonably fails to make disclosures or has been evasive or filed incomplete answers. Permission to file a Motion To Compel may be requested at a status conference. Conferral with the opposing party must occur before a request. The public policy reason behind this is to encourage problem resolution between the parties. A Court can order a party to comply and can hold a party in contempt if he or she fails to do so.

Is it time to turn change into opportunity? At Janko Law and Mediation, LLC we know how to work with you to reach your transition goals. We are committed to pursuing settlement to preserve family relations to the maximum extent possible, however also zealously represent your interests in contested litigation if desired or necessary. Give us a call for a complimentary case assessment at 303-210-4204, or fill out our confidential online intake form.

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