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The discovery phase of your business lawsuit

Facing legal action against your South Carolina business is likely something you hoped would never happen. Nevertheless, despite your efforts to be proactive, you have learned that a customer, vendor or another business has named you in a lawsuit, and now you must respond.

A lawsuit can easily drain time, money and resources from your business, so you want to be certain to deal with it in the most efficient and cost-effective way. If you have an attorney who has assisted you through the establishment and growth of your business, you can likely count on that professional to guide you through this difficult time, including the critical discovery phase of the lawsuit.

What happens during discovery?

Discovery is one of the early parts of a civil complaint. This is the phase of the litigation where you and your opponent share information about the case. You may have seen many TV dramas where one attorney springs a shocking piece of evidence on the court that changes the direction of the trial, but this seldom happens. Instead, before going to court, both sides share the facts, including the following:

  • Documentation: Your business will probably receive instructions from your legal team to cease the routine destruction of records and files, including emails, until the case is resolved.
  • Interrogatories: The opposing counsel may require you and other witnesses to answer a series of questions they send you in a document. You are under oath when you answer these.
  • Expert testimony: Both sides have the right to know which, if any, expert witnesses will testify.
  • Deposition: Well before the trial, both sides will spend time interviewing witnesses, including any experts who are scheduled to testify.

A deposition is an opportunity for your opponent's legal team to ask questions of you and others involved, which you must answer truthfully under oath. Your attorney will also depose members of the plaintiff's side. The legal teams will then use the information they learn to build their strategies.

Take it seriously

Discovery is essential to your case, and your opponents may find that the information they gather from you is enough to settle the case. On the other hand, discovery may show that your best chances are to offer a settlement of your own. Either way, you can expect the discovery phase to last perhaps for months.

Because the complex and prolonged nature of discovery is only one part of a civil claim, you would be wise to have an experienced legal advocate on your side. Having an attorney to focus on building a case allows you to continue to concentrate on the success of your business.

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A Business Law Firm, LLC
1989 South Pine St.
Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302

Phone: 864-308-2486
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