What is a Request For Production and Interrogatories and Why Are These Discovery Vehicles So Useful?
Working with an attorney is much like meeting that special person in your life and developing a personal relationship. It takes time. During this time interrogative questions are asked and answered and evidence such as meeting parents or seeing the actual workplace come into play. This blog will take an in-depth look at both Request for Production and Interrogatories and just why they are useful for both client and attorney.
Looking first at Request for Production, the legal definition found in the online Findlaw Legal Dictionary states “a discovery request issued by one party to an action on another for the presentation for inspection of specified documents or tangible things or for permission to enter upon and inspect land or property in the other party’s possession.” An example would be, in a divorce case, one party needs to see the bank records of the other party to verify information put on the financial disclosure required to be furnished by each party. This request is called a Request for Production. Other examples could include, life insurance policies, itemized monthly expenses with proof, retirement plans, ownership proof of claimed non marital property, access to a home for inspection and evaluation, to name a few. Particularly in what is termed high end or high profile cases the ability to Request for Production becomes a very important part of learning about the true value of a person’s financial history and his or her assets and liabilities.
The legal term Interrogatives is defined by Legal Dictionary Law as “a set of written questions to a party to a lawsuit asked by the opposing party as part of the pre-trial discovery process. These questions must be answered in writing under oath or under penalty of perjury within a specified time (such as 30 days). These question can be of a personal, business, or social nature and often dig deep into a person’s life both at home, work, and extra curricular activities. All the information obtained in this manner can be used for or against a client and must be able to be proved if needed. Requests for Production are often based on answers to the interrogatories.
Why are Interrogatories and Request for Production so useful as discovery vehicles? It is immediately apparent when one understands the meaning and use of Request for Production and Interrogatories that this is the way to gain important information regarding a client’s finances, lifestyle, personal and work ethics, and to obtain proof of the information provided by the interrogatories. When an attorney is figuring out how much alimony (and what type of alimony), child support, equitable distribution of assets and debts, and other financial considerations the answers to the interrogatories are vital in obtaining a true picture which can, if necessary, be backed up with request for production. As human nature often prompts people to “stretch or hide the truth” these vehicles to discovery make it very difficult to do so. Particularly in cases involving thousands of dollars, much property both personal and real estate, and several business ventures, Request for Production and Interrogatories are essential tools for attorneys to help produce a fair outcome for their client.