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What is Discovery in a Lawsuit?

Discovery is the opportunity in litigation to learn facts and gather information from an opposing party or third parties.
If a lawsuit gets past its initial stages, the plaintiff and the defendant will go through a period of discovery. In this article, we’ll discuss what discovery is in a lawsuit and the process.  Discovery is generally a six-month period in the state of Georgia. For Georgia Superior Court civil litigation cases, however, it can be extended with the approval of the judge if necessary. Discovery can be facilitated in the following ways:
  • Production of documents where you ask for tangible things
  • Interrogatories where you ask for information
  • Requests for admission where you’re asking for admission
  • In some cases, you can perform other types of discovery such as taking depositions of witnesses or requesting inspections of locations or items

Discovery in Magistrate Court (Small Claims)

The Magistrate Court system in Georgia is focused on speed and cost-effectiveness. This can be seen as advantageous because you can bring something to court and resolve it fairly quickly. One disadvantage, however, is that because it is focused on speed, there is no right to discovery (because this would prolong cases costing more time and money/resources on behalf of the court). If you have the information you need to make your case, this is not a problem. However, if you need information from others who are unwilling to share it, the lack of discovery can be a disadvantage.

When to Hire an Attorney

If you find yourself in or approaching a magistrate court case in Georgia, the assistance of an attorney can increase your chances of a positive outcome.  An attorney will guide you through the case as a party or non-party witness and ensure you are protected. If you find yourself approaching or in the middle of a case, book a strategy session with us today.

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Steven Lefkoff

Steven is the founder of Lefkoff Law and is committed to providing legal educational resources for businesses. Lefkoff Law serves Georgia-based small businesses and specializes in supporting car dealers.

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