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Discovery is

the process of finding described resources (e.g., books, sound and video recordings, maps) through search and retrieval.[1]


Discovery is

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, interrogatories, requests for admissions, document production requests and requests for inspection.[2]


Discovery is

a service to find unknown resources/entities/services based on a rough specification of the desired result. It may be utilized by a human or another service. Credentials for authorization are considered when executing the discovery.[3]

Overview (Litigation)[]

The information sought must be relevant to the parties claim or defense, and can include "the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matter."[4]

Limitations (Litigation)[]

The court, if it so chooses, may limit the length and number of depositions and interrogatories, as well as the number of requests for admissions that each party can serve on other parties. Judges can also issue protective orders to prevent, limit, or alter the discovery request of either party.[5] Further with regard to digital information the court may not require production of such evidence if it can be shown that the information is not "reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost."[6] Further the court has the discretion to limit discovery if it determines that:

(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;

(ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the action; or (iii) the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues.[7]

Work product doctrine[]

With some exceptions any work that is created in anticipation of litigation is not discoverable.[8]

Privileged information[]

Any information that is protected by a privilege is not discoverable.[9]


  1. ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation, Glossary, App. B, at 225.
  2. Newfoundland-Labrador, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Information Management and Information Protection Glossary of Terms (full-text).
  3. Smartex: IoT Glossary of Terms and Standards (full-text).
  4. Fed. R. Civ. Proc., Rule 26(b)(1).
  5. Fed. R. Civ. Proc., Rule 26(c).
  6. Fed. R. Civ. Proc., Rule 26(b)(2)(b).
  7. Fed. R. Civ. Proc., Rule 26(b)(2)(C).
  8. Fed. R. Civ. Proc., Rule 26(b)(3).
  9. Fed. R. Civ. Proc., Rule 26(b)(5).