Paralegal Essentials – Discovery (Limits)

Discovery is the stage in litigation which is designed to:

  • Focus the issues
  • Eliminate Surprise at trial
  • Even the playing field
  • Provide Presentation of trial evidence (saving judicial resources)
However, not everything is discoverable, and discovery does have its limits.  First of all, discovery is limited primarily by the resources of the parties.  Some clients simply cannot afford much discovery.  The other limitation on discovery is scope.  The scope of discovery in California is “anything which could reasonably lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.”

The other limit on discovery is privilege which protects some information from discovery.  Privileged information is protected by virtue of some special relationship.  Because of the special relationship, the information is not discoverable even if it is relevant.  The following are some of the common privileges:

  • attorney-client
  • spousal
  • physician-patient
  • clergyman-penitent

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