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The Importance of Discovery of Documents in the Litigation Process

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After Court proceedings are issued the court rules provide for the parties to exchange documents (which harm your case or advance your case) so that they can assess the strengths and weaknesses of their case and not be taken by surprise at trial.

Whilst the process is certainly not a glamourous one, it is one of the most important in the litigation process.  This is because a failure to provide adequate discovery can come back to bite the offending party at trial and may indeed mean the “silver bullet” to win your case is not found.

In a recent Federal Circuit Court case a franchisor successfully defended a claim made against it by a former franchisee.  The Court was highly critical of the franchisor for failing to adequately discover relevant documents.  This resulted in the Judge reducing the costs order made against the unsuccessful franchisee by 25%.  This case evidences the penalty that can be imposed for incomplete discovery.

It is imperative when investing in litigation to ensure that you provide your lawyer with all documents, including electronically generated documents, that are relevant to the claim or defence to ensure that we can fully advise you as to your position and to ensure you comply with the Court Rules.

Our dispute resolution and litigation lawyers are adept at guiding clients through the discovery process and in reviewing documents discovered by the other side.

For further information regarding Discovery of Documents or any other litigation matter, please contact our Dispute Resolution & Litigation team by email litigation@mst.com.au or by telephone +613 8540 0200.