Discovery is a process involving the exchange of documents, information, and other potential evidence between parties to a lawsuit. This exchange requires evidence supporting your claims and defenses in the case and evidence supporting the other party’s claims and defenses. In Texas, we have open discovery, which means both sides are expected to turn over all of his or her evidence well before trial. The idea behind it is if both parties have access to the same information, then those parties will likely find their way to a reasonable settlement before trial. This also means the drama and excitement you see in movies and television shows about finding the missing piece of evidence at the last minute to solve the case usually doesn’t happen in real life. However, discovery is still vitally important to your case. In our experience, the side which is better prepared and more organized usually ends up better off in the end, whether that is in settlement negotiations or at trial.
Details about the cost of Discovery can get to be expensive. It can cost many thousands of dollars to do a proper Discovery, and many people have given up on their cases so that they don’t have to pay the cost of Discovery. This is commonly referred to as “spending your opponent into submission,” and more cases have probably been won this way than on merit alone.
|Description||Estimated Cost per Party*|
|Depositions||Deposition Transcripts & Court reporter : Approx. $500 to $2,000Attorney Fees for Attendance : Typically 3 to 8 hoursAttorney Fees for Preparing to Take a Deposition : Typically 2 to 4 hours|
|Written Discovery||$2,500 to $10,000|
|Litigation over Discovery||$5,000+, if necessary|
*Note: These estimates are approximations from experience. Use our Case Budget Calculator.
Be prepared for a full and invasive exam of everything relevant in your life during your marriage or since the child’s birth. There are plenty of things that could be relevant including:
What is relevant will depend on the issues at hand and the accusations made by one, either, or both parties.
There really is nothing that is off-limits, except maybe a few private medical details (and most of those are fair game). This is largely true even in a non-divorce child custody matter. The other party may be entitled to get details and documentation regarding your:
When considering the information that is discoverable, the list goes on.
It can be pretty horrible for example:
When the other side serves you with discovery requests, the responses will be due within 30 days of being served with the requests. Your lawyer should notify you promptly when they receive discovery requests in your case to get started working on it. Discovery may seem like a lot at first, but it is prevalent, and a great lawyer will work with you to gather documents, organize responses, and get your case prepared for the next steps.
People do get away with lying and hiding things in Court, even with Discovery being conducted. But, a good lawyer with a proper budget can usually minimize this. Even worse, if you are caught lying/hiding things during Discovery, the consequences are severe. Most people are better off just being open and taking their lumps.
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Brian and his staff were great. Brian’s direction and expertise provided me with the legal information relevant for my needs over several years now. He listens and is steadfast which gave me comfort in the courses of action. I highly recommend him.Brian and his staff were great. Brian’s direction and expertise provided me with the legal information...
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