Introduction. The Role of Discovery in Civil Litigation

AuthorJohn Hollander
the role of discovery in civil litigation
The Role of Discovery in
Civil Litigation
   of civil litigation is to resolve dis-
putes that arise between parties with conicting interests.
Rule-makers have determined that well-informed parties
make rational decisions, and rational decisions rarely in-
clude a trip to the courtroom.
e discovery process has its basis in the disclosure of
facts and full disclosure should lead to informed settle-
ments. e orderly settlement of cases improves harmony
among citizens, who have recourse to the courts instead
of lethal weapons. It reduces the demand for trial judges
and the costs associated with the administration of jus-
tice at least, that is the theory.
In defence of their clients, experienced counsel use
the discovery rules to withhold what they can; then they
disclose as favourably as they are able what they cannot
withhold. ey use those same rules to learn what they
can of the case of the opposition. It is a fact of life that
there exists a great disparity in the resources of compet-
ing parties, and it is also true that unequal talent of their
counsel causes an impact in the management and conclu-
sion of cases. is disparity and inequality play out in the

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