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What is discovery and can it affect my business?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Business Law

The discovery process stands as a critical juncture in the realm of business litigation. It wields significant influence over the parties involved. During the discovery phase, both parties exchange evidence, and it ultimately sculpts the trajectory of the litigation.

Unraveling the discovery process

Discovery serves as the legal mechanism through which businesses glean vital information from one another in preparation for trial. In New York, this pivotal phase kicks off following the defendant’s response to the complaint. However, if a pre-answer motion to dismiss is lodged, discovery might undergo a temporary halt, pending the motion’s resolution.

Implications for businesses

The revelations unearthed during discovery can dramatically reshape a company’s litigation strategy. Discovery can illuminate both the strengths and vulnerabilities in a party’s position. This can influence whether the parties will agree to settle or pursue trial.

For businesses, this phase carries monumental weight. Why? Because a public trial and loss can devastate even the most well-capitalized business. Even a public trial and win can severely damage a business’s reputation. And, during the discovery and pre-litigation and litigation period, operational continuity will likely be impacted.

Diverse forms of discovery

Businesses engage in diverse avenues of discovery. This includes interrogatories (written questions), document requests and depositions (in-person questions). Each avenue serves the purpose of gathering facts and minimizing trial surprises.

Strategic maneuvering through discovery

The astute deployment of discovery tactics can confer a strategic edge upon businesses. It empowers them to discern the opposing party’s hand and prepare accordingly. However, adept navigation of this terrain demands legal expertise to sidestep pitfalls, such as inadvertent disclosure of privileged information.

Concluding thoughts

The discovery process within New York City business litigation is intricate yet indispensable. If you meticulously navigate the process and safeguard your business’s interests, you can harness the acquired information to your advantage.