What Is Discovery?
Video Transcribed: Protective order step 5, discovery. What is discovery? Hi, I’m a Tulsa attorney, James Wirth, and I’m about to answer those questions and give you an overview of discovery in protective orders.
Okay, so what is discovery? Discovery is simply a process in litigation by which you get information. So if you want to ask the other side questions before you have them under oath in court so that there’s no surprises, that’s generally discovery, and there’s two ways you can do the asking of questions. You can do it written, which is called interrogatories or you can do it orally by question answer, which is a called a deposition.
Other discovery options or what if there’s documentation that the other side has that you don’t and you don’t want to be surprised with it at the hearing. You want to know about it ahead of time. Well, you do a request for productions, requiring them to produce different documentation, but it’s not just documentation. It could be documentation and things. There could be pieces of evidence, tangible items, that you want to review prior to being surprised by them at the trial.
Also there’s a request for admissions. In order to narrow the scope of certain issues, you can ask up to 30 requests for admissions and that is admit that this is true, admit that this is true, and you want to get those either admitted or denied before your hearing to know what’s in dispute and what’s not in dispute. Also, part of discovery is subpoenas that can go out to third parties to request documents and things that you need.
Let’s say that there is a phone records that you don’t have in that you want to get. You want to subpoena those from the phone company. That would be way that can be done. So those are the typical types of discovery and that’s applicable and all or most civil cases.
So is it applicable in protective orders? Well, that used to be a question. It used to be where some judges would allow it, others would not. That has changed. In May of 2019, a court case came down on that exact issue, seeing if due process required discovery in protective orders. The court found that it did. It remanded a case where a protective order was granted to say, “No, you should have allowed him to do discovery.”
So the answer now is definitively yes, you can do discovery in protective orders, and that’s why that’s our step number four. Because before you have that full hearing, you’re going to want to have all of the information because there are lots of reasons why you may not want a protective order against you, in which case you want to know what the allegations are. There’s lots of reasons why you might want a protective order against another party, in which case you don’t want to be surprised by their defenses at the hearing.
So in the cases we handle, we do discovery in most protective order cases, now, and that’s new because the law now is much more clear than it used to be. But don’t take my word for it. Don’t take this general information. Talk to an attorney about your specifics. If you want to talk to me, give me a call, 918-879-1681.