Can We Settle the Case Without Conducting Discovery?
First, before answering the question asked in the title, it is important to understand the definition of the word “discovery” as it pertains in the legal sense. While it is true discovery means to find out about, investigate, ask questions about, and explore information relevant to a topic, there is a deeper meaning when it comes to preparing a legal case for court. The following definition is found online from upcounsel “The formal procedure used by parties to a lawsuit to obtain information before a trial is called discovery Part of the pretrial litigation process during which each party requests relevant information and documents from the other side in an attempt to “discover” pertinent facts. Generally, discovery devices include depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, document production, requests, and requests for inspection.”
Second, in answer to the question, can we settle the case without conducting discovery? the answer is two-fold.:
- Settling the case at mediation: Getting ready for mediation does require preparation in terms of gathering information about the client and what he or she deems important and necessary as to reasons for litigation and hoped-for outcomes, proof of marital assets and liabilities, and a full financial disclosure by each party. However, as it is hoped there will be a settlement agreed on and signed by both parties, a formal discovery is not undertaken. Willingness to compromise and see the wisdom in less legal costs, shorter time to a final order, empowerment to decide their outcome, and privacy as mediation proceedings are not available to the public, is what will hopefully settle the case.
- Settling the case in court: When mediation fails or is not an option, a case must then go before a judge in court. The judge will be the person determining the outcome of the case, so it then becomes necessary for as much discovery as is reasonably possible. Each party wants to know what the other party will bring to the “table.” A judge must have as much information and proof as can be produced to make intelligent and hopefully fair decisions for the outcome of each case. No one likes to have their life laid on the line through discovery, but this will be necessary should a case require a court hearing. An attorney cannot present a thorough, knowledgeable case to a judge without discovery.
When you need a Family Law attorney in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough Counties in Florida, in New York and Washington DC Attorney Grant Gisondo can answer your questions about discovery as well as share how he can help you as a client. He has been successfully representing clients in Family Law for over ten years. For your benefit, Attorney Gisondo offers a free, initial, in-office consultation. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and, for new clients, on Saturdays from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. To make an appointment, you can call his office at (561) 530-4568.