Propounding Discovery: Streamlining In 2024
Propounding Discovery: Streamlining In 2024
Propounding discovery refers to initiating a formal exchange of information with an opposing party in a legal context. It is essential in many lawsuits, occuring within the discovery phase before parties go to court.
If you are the party “propounding discovery,” you are the one sending information requests to the other side. Permitted ways to do this include sending requests for production or filing interrogatories and requests for admission.
However, creating and sending these documents by hand is time-consuming and prone to errors. You could submit requests using improper formats or language, preventing you from securing the target information you want.
That’s where propounding discovery software can help. It provides advanced features to streamline document production, avoid errors, and reduce time spent on non-billable tasks.
Propounding Discovery Overview
Law offices need to initiate discovery for various reasons. The principal purpose is to gather evidence that supports your client’s case. Learning more about the circumstances of the events in question can help you prepare superior responses in court.
However, there are other reasons for propounding discovery. For example, it also assists in learning more about the other party’s position and weaknesses. Furthermore, you may also identify potential witnesses and experts and learn more about the precise issues in dispute during this investigative stage. Enhanced discovery improves your capacity to serve your clients.
Your Obligations During Propounding Discovery
While propounding discovery is an accepted legal process, you must still fulfill various obligations. That’s why software can be beneficial. It helps you avoid non-compliance.
For example, requests for information must be relevant and proportional to the case. You must focus (in general) on obtaining answers that help you resolve the dispute. Requests shouldn’t place any undue burden on the responding party.
You must also format and serve discoveries according to court rules. Failing to adhere to guidelines could result in judges throwing out requests.
Getting compliance right, though, is challenging. Opposing parties have certain rights, including objecting to burdensome or irrelevant information requests. Attorney-client privilege also lets them bar demands for sensitive information.
Fortunately, you can limit these risks while maximizing compliance by using software. Carefully calibrated solutions provide recognized requests while saving time.
The Benefits Of Using Software For Propounding Discovery
Before we discuss the specific features of propounding discovery software, let’s review some of the benefits it offers.
A centralized platform that attorneys can use whenever they want to make a request
Improved visibility over the discovery process – paperwork is digital, not hidden away in a file somewhere
Better workflow streamlining, including making requests (and responding to them) with minimal typing or manual entry required
Improved ability to meet deadlines imposed for discovery by the court
Enhanced team productivity and less time spent on non-billable work
Reduction in the risk of accidental information exposure using pre-filled template libraries
Less rote work and more focus on high-value tasks
Pre-formatted requests that increase the likelihood of discovery
Software Features That Let You Streamline The Propounding Discovery Process
Advances in AI and software generally mean that today’s solutions are more capable than ever. Tools offer various features that improve the process and enable you to get the information you and your clients need. Here’s what to expect:
Propounding discovery software comes with template libraries you can use to make information requests. These save time and free up attorneys and other legal professionals to focus on higher-value tasks.
Briefpoint offers extensive template libraries for various case categories across information request classes. For instance, we have over 87 special interrogatories pre-formatted for auto torts and more for requests for admission and production.
Using template libraries is straightforward. Most leading solutions let you click the item you want to include, whether sending a request to a plaintiff, defendant, or another party. That’s true of Briefpoint.
Furthermore, these template libraries include careful wording to minimize the risk of receiving a valid objection from the opposing party. For example, Briefpoint includes interrogatories such as:
Automated Drafting Tools
Automated drafting tools are another essential ingredient of top-rated propounding discovery software. These systems enable you to craft the precise document you need, depending on who you send it to and the information you request.
Briefpoint does this by taking you through a multi-choice wizard. Fillable forms give you the option to provide a short title for the case, the case number, the full title of the case, the client position (plaintiff, defendant, cross-defendant, or cross-complainant), representative action (individual, class action, or PAGA), the case type (i.e., auto, business, civil rights, etc.), the various parties’ names, and the venue. Entering this information supplies the propounding discovery document software with the essential formatting information to proceed.
The information you must include varies between jurisdictions. However, advanced software helps you cover your bases by adding things like:
The deadline for responding to the request
Clear and concise statements about the requests
Instructions on how the opposing party should format its responses
A statement underlining the legal standing of the request
Once you add this information, the software formats it for you, regardless of the document you want to submit. The next step is to choose the request type so the software can present the proper library of pre-formatted requests discussed in the previous section.
Briefpoint lets you draft any of the following:
Request for Admission. These requests ask the opposing party to admit or deny various “truths” or facts associated with a case. These are helpful when you want to narrow down the disputed facts and save time.
- Request for Production. These requests ask the opposing party to produce legal documents associated with the case. Any requests for paperwork must be relevant and helpful in proving your client’s case.
- Special Interrogatories. These written questions are limited to a specific topic or issue relating to the case. You might submit them to identify potential witnesses or better understand the other party’s stance on an issue.
Once you provide Briefpoint with this information, you can populate your document with specific requests. The software will format and structure the paperwork according to best practices.
Once you finish telling the software what document you want it to create, you can download it for review. (Briefpoint lets you do this in Microsoft Word). This step allows you to check it for compliance before sending it off. While developers take special care to ensure that template requests follow established norms and practices, you are responsible for any new items you insert or edits to existing suggestions.
Understanding How Propounding Software Can Streamline Discovery
Opposing parties can object to responding to discovery requests under certain conditions. Requests are unlikely to succeed if they:
Are irrelevant to the case
Are excessively burdensome
Violate various attorney-client privileges that protect some details from disclosure
Therefore, using propounding discovery software is helpful. It reduces the risk of rejected requests, supporting your client’s case.
Briefpoint’s propounding discovery solutions are a case in point. Filing by hand is tedious, but getting our software to do it instead could save you up to 87% of your time. You can also use it to avoid costly mistakes, such as disclosing information about your client you shouldn’t. Responses comply with ethical rules for better decision-making.
Understanding the role of propounding software in your legal practice discussed in this post should enable you to make requests more effectively. You can avoid compliance issues while working in your client’s best interests.
How Briefpoint Can Help You
Discovery responses cost firms $23,240, per year, per attorney. $23,240 estimate assumes an associate attorney salary of $150,000 (including benefits – or $83 an hour), 20 cases per year/per associate, 4 discovery sets per case, 30 questions per set, 3.5 hours spent responding to each set, and 1800 hours of billable hours per year.
Under these assumptions, you save $20,477 using Briefpoint, per year, per attorney.
Test Briefpoint yourself by scheduling a demo here.
FAQs In Relation to Propounding Discovery
What does propounding discovery software do?
Propounding discovery software streamlines the information-gathering process in legal practice. It enables you to ask opposing parties for information in a legally permissible way without having to write requests by hand while reducing the risk of non-compliance.
How do you write a propounding discovery request?
The best way to write a discovery request is to get software to do it for you. Briefpoint provides templates to make case-specific requests that fall within accepted court guidelines.
What is the purpose of propounding discovery software?
Propounding discovery software makes gathering information from the other side in a legal case more straightforward. Solutions come with template libraries you can use to collect the information in a legally compliant way.
Can you edit requests in propounding discovery software?
The best propounding discovery software tools let you edit library templates included in their packages. For example, Briefpoint lets you customize standard requests how you want. You can add extra information or upload requests in your preferred format.
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