A discovery session takes place before the start of a trial.
Types of questions asked, in a personal injury case
The lawyer for each side seeks specific facts, such as these: The identity of those involved in the accident; the identity of those that know something about the accident; what sort of information could be found in a relevant document. Sometimes, during the quest for information, a witness has the job of viewing and commenting on a specific physical object, or a certain piece of property.
Each party enjoys the freedom to go after any information that has some relation to the lawsuit. Still, each party must respect the limitation that the court imposes on whoever is firing inquiries at witnesses, during a discovery session. All of the answers get recorded during discovery. Later, the lawyers for each side can review those same answers, when preparing to question a witness during the trial. Witnesses that fail to give the same answer both times manage to cast doubt on the veracity of their testimony.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Ottawa for the opposing side could make use of that lack of veracity. The attorney’s strategy would emerge during the trial, and could highlight for the jury the discrepancy in the answers given at the discovery session and then later, in the courtroom.
Limitations that the court imposes on questions
No lawyer can ask questions that probe into the nature of comments made during a confidential conversation. Conversations between a husband and wife, a lawyer and a client, a doctor and a patient, or a religious adviser and the advisee are classed as confidential.
No attorney can ask questions that seek details on a private matter. A private matter is one that is not relevant to the lawsuit, and focuses on the sort of topic that most people prefer to discuss with family, or with intimate friends. No lawyer can go after information on someone/something that has been classified as a 3rd party, in terms of their/its relation to the accident. A third party could be a person or a business.
There is an exception to that last limitation. At times, the court finds it necessary to seek specific information from a 3rd party. At that point, the answers that are given during the period of questioning do not get placed in the public record. Instead, each of them gets entered in a document that is not part of the public record.
The above rules pertain to any deposition. That is the name for the period of a discovery session when one party’s attorney has the chance to seek information from a selected individual. The plaintiff and the defendant are always asked to attend a deposition.