Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Discovering America?

Well, not quite.

Some years ago, I printed out a paper entitled Death By Discovery written by a Sydney barriater named Philippe D Gray-Grzeszkiewicz. The paper was designed to be an introduction to the mysteries of that proceral aspect of so much litigation called discovery.

The author specifically mentions poor junior solicitors and paralegals in his introduction. He must have come across a fair few in his day, and he obviously knows ...

... the concerns of newly admitted solicitors and paralegals who have lacked an authoritative but relatively accessible introductory paper that deals with the mechanics of a task that is often delegated to them without much instruction or supervision.
Basically discovery is where parties (or their legal advisors) disclose to each other all documents relating to the dispute hat are in their possession or are within reach. I rarely received much help from my supervisors about this topic. Perhaps that's because my superbisors were way too sensible than to practise (and therefore allow me to practise) in jurisdictions where such procedures were needed.

The author provides 2 very interesting definistions of discovery. The first is from Martin Vernon's Bluff your way in Law and focusses more on discovery by the client than his or her legal adviser ...

Discovery - Process of detailing in a huge chronological list the ten cardboard boxes of random but crucial paperwork discoveredrvals by your client at unpredictable intervals {after he first told you that he has given you everything of relevance).
The second is a somewhat more scientific definition by Albert Szent-Gyorgi and published in American Biochemist ...

Discover consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.
Thankfully I'm not terribly interested in either form of discovery.

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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