Requests for the Production of Documents
Requests for the Production of Documents is the easiest written discovery to draft, but some of the most difficult to answer. Requests for the Production of Documents don’t have a lot of the same technical limitations that Special Interrogatories and Requests for Admission do when it comes to phrasing of the actual questions. Additionally, unlike Special Interrogatories, in most circumstances you don’t mind if you get too many documents (however, oftentimes if the Defendant is a corporation they have the wherewithal to do a document dump on you that most individuals simply can’t do) so making broad requests are fine.
Essentially each Request requires the opposing party to produce all documents that are responsive to the request that you made. So, for example, a Request could be “Produce all documents that you believe support your contention that you did not strike Plaintiff’s vehicle.” In response the Defendant would have to go through each document in their custody, possession, or control (so even if the document is currently in someone else’s possession but they can get it) and provide you with the responsive documents. This sounds really easy, right? Well that is because it is for the person asking the question.
But take that hypothetical scenario and reverse it, the Defendant is asking for all documents that shows that you were injured by the subject accident. That is an incredible burden on them because you have to go through all medical paperwork, photographs, police reports, videos, etc. just to be able to provide the requested documents.
Additionally, once you receive the documents, you must then review all documents and synthesize that data into easily referenced and digestible forms. This too is incredibly difficult and time consuming.
Keep in mind, the documents you are receiving and sending are the crux of the trial, in most circumstances these will be the entire well of physical evidence that you and the Defendant can rely upon to prove/disprove the case.