Lit Basics Discovery Intro

Lit Basics Discovery Intro - Litigation Basics Pretrial...

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1 Litigation Basics (Shellenberger Week of 9/15/2007) The Federal discovery rules are dense and complicated, especially the Civil Rules which are more detailed than the Criminal Rules on discovery. Again, we are only trying to understand the basic rights, requirements, and mechanisms for discovery, as well as what these rules say generally about the nature of the litigation process. We certainly do not need to learn all or even most of the details in this class. Discovery is a critical part of civil litigation. The current Fed. Rs. Civ. P. are more permissive, but also more micro-managing than the rules that were in place when I was a civil litigator in the 1970s. Under both the Civil and the Criminal Rules, some discovery is mandatory, some is permissible or discretionary, and some is privileged or otherwise not allowed. There is also informal discovery, with the parties exchanging information without regard to the requirements of the rules and without involving the court. The extent of informal discovery depends on the nature of the case and the relationships between counsel. Below are questions I want you to be prepared to answer in class. Again, the best way to prepare for class is first to skim the assigned rules and the questions to get a sense for what they provide and which provisions apply to which questions. Then, read the relevant provisions again carefully and record the answers to each question, with a citation to the relevant rule provision. Then consider the general questions.
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Lit Basics Discovery Intro - Litigation Basics Pretrial...

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