April 01, 2014

Discovery: Criminal and Civil? There’s a Difference

Katharine Larson

Criminal and civil discovery serve different purposes. Obviously, there are significantly higher stakes present in criminal cases and that key difference plays out in the rules of discovery.

Discovery Goals

The goal of civil discovery, similar to the rules governing sporting events, is to ensure a level playing field for all parties. No one side should possess a procedural or evidentiary advantage beyond that which is particular to the specific facts of a case. The rules of civil procedure promote reciprocity and equal access to evidence.

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