Requests For Production: How To Automate Preparation In 2024

 In Practice Pointers

Requests For Production: How To Automate Preparation In 2024

A man writing documents on several papers

What Is a Request for Production of Documents?

Requests for production are a legal procedure that is used during the discovery phase of a civil lawsuit or legal proceeding and is the asking of documents or other relevant items for the case to be presented.

These might be physical documents that need to be produced, or documents to simply be disclosed that could help the case move forward. It’s a vital part of the process that can enable both parties to gather evidence in preparation for trial.

It essentially asks the other party to produce any documents or other items that might be used as supporting evidence during a trial. If the other side claims that it doesn’t exist but then tries to produce it at the trial this can be objected to by the party to the judge. By requesting the documents ahead of time you can mitigate the risk of surprise evidence being produced during the court case.

Requests for production are a key part of the process and tend to include the following:

Specification of the exact documents required – The document should outline the documents, materials, or tangible assets that are required, being as clear and specific as possible. For example, listing the dates of bank statements.

The relevance of the items – The items that are requested must be directly related to the lawsuit issues and explicitly state why they are relevant. Vague or irrelevant requests could be objected to and the documents or assets not be disclosed.

The timeframe in which the items must be produced – You must add a reasonable timeframe for the documents/ other items to be handed over. This tends to be 30 days but can vary depending on the rules of the court, the jurisdiction, and other extenuating circumstances.

Why is a request for the production of documents so important?

A request for production is a vital part of the discovery process of a trial for many reasons. One of the first important things it does is allow parties to request and obtain relevant information that can support their defenses or claims.
These can help to build up evidence that can be used in a trial. It also enables transparency between both parties helping to prevent any surprises during the trial. This way both parties have the same information presented to them and can prevent a fair case.

The pre-presentation of documents before trial also enables attorneys to amend their case strategy accordingly, utilizing the information received to help add strength to their arguments and know what questions to put forth to the opposing party.

Another reason it’s so important is that it can help to streamline court proceedings, reducing time and helping to move the case along efficiently. It ensures the trial is fair and can aid in providing an efficient resolution for both parties in the case.

What are some key aspects of a request for the production of documents?

If a party feels the information requested is irrelevant, too vague, or wants privileged or confidential information they can object. This might need to be referred to the court to get further clarification and decide on the outcome of the matter.

There are specific rules regarding the format of the request for production. The court will set these rules which need to be followed. The request must be formally written and it must be very specific when outlining the exact information or items they are requesting.

What are some of the items that might be requested during a request for production?

Several items fall under a request for production and both parties must comply as much as they can. The items that might be called for include:


Physical documents can mean a number of different things, from letters and emails that have been sent to invoices, reports, bank statements, and invoices. It’s important to specify exactly what the documents are that are being requested and include as much detail as possible.

Photographs and Videos

Photos and video clips can be vital evidence during a court case. These could be taken at home, CCTV, or taken by a third party.

Physical objects

Physical objects might be requested in the case they could help provide vital evidence. These might be products or machinery that have relevance to the case.

Contracts and statements

You might request contracts such as phone or employment contracts, bank statements, agreements, or leases. They could help to prove (or disprove) certain aspects that have been put forward in the case by either party.

Medical Records

If the case has to do with someone having an injury or a claim relating to healthcare, medical records can be requested. This could include treatment plans, doctor reports, and any other related documents that could help. As this is confidential data it’s important to specify exactly what you’re looking for or your request might be denied or put forward to a judge.

Electronic Data

Electronic information is another thing that might be asked for. This can include any information such as text messages, emails, social media posts, website records, or computer files. Again, being specific is key for this. Try and include dates where possible to back up this.

Corporate Documents

If the lawsuit has to do with a work dispute, you could request corporate documents. This could include any policies, contracts, or documents related to the procedures of a company. 

How To Automate Your Process

Utilizing automation software like ours at Briefpoint means you can focus your attention on the rest of the case. It automates the construction of commonly used litigation documents such as requests for production and is tailored to the document drafting processes you’ve already honed.

The platform can take an opposing counsel’s PDF discovery requests and transform them into professional discovery responses in next to no time. Once inside the dashboard, you simply upload the PDF, and the powerful tool will organize and list each request.

From there, you can select your objections and responses before asking the software to create a Word document, which can be edited and signed before being sent back to the opposing counsel or your CMS (case management system).

How Briefpoint Can Help

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.

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