Part of the pre-trial litigation process during which each party requests relevant information and documents from the other side in an attempt to "discover" pertinent facts. Generally discovery devices include depositions, interogatories, requests for admissions, document production requests and requests for inspection.
The formal procedures used by parties to a lawsuit to obtain information before a trial is called discovery. Discovery helps a party find out the other side's version of the facts, what witnesses know, and other evidence. Rules dictating the allowable methods of discovery have been set up by Congress (for federal courts) and by state legislatures (for state courts). Common discovery devices include:
The scope of information obtainable through discovery is quite broad and not limited to what can be used in a trial. Federal courts and most state courts allow a party to discover any information 'reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.' Because of this broad standard, parties often disagree about what information must be exchanged and what may be kept confidential. These disputes are resolved through court rulings on discovery motions.
Intern. Law. The act of finding an unknown country.
The nations of Europe adopted the principle, that the discovery of any part of America gave title to the government by whose subjects, or by whose authority it was made, against all European governments. This title was to be consummated by possession.
Rights. The patent laws of the United States use this word as synonymous with invention or improvement.