Discovery is often intimidating for litigators, especially young lawyers. The key to discovery is to stay ahead of the deadlines. Here are five simple tips to keep your discovery organized and moving.
1. Create a Realistic Schedule and Stick to It
First, you must create a realistic timeline for discovery. The timeline should contemplate initial written discovery to the parties and subpoenas for third parties. In some cases, you may need to get releases for medical and bank records from your clients in anticipation of your document production. The schedule then needs to address the receipt and digestion of discovery responses prior to deposing factual and expert witnesses. Obviously, the schedule should be added to your calendar and tickler system. Finally, it needs to contemplate the needs and restraints of your client. Confer with your client before finalizing a schedule to address any time restraints such as vacation or surgery and their limitations such as staff, who will help you gather the documents.
2. Start Discovery as Soon As Possible
First, invest the time in creating a road map for the information and documents you will need to prove the essential elements of your claims or for your defenses. Advise your client about the discovery, either prior to filing suit or upon receipt of a complaint. They need to begin collecting documents immediately as well as safeguarding electronic files.