discovery [English]

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ 1. The means of locating some thing through a search. – 2. The initial identification or observation of some thing. – 3. Law · The compulsory process of producing relevant documents to opposing parties in litigation.

Other Definitions

  • Black's 9th 2009 (†382 s.v. "discovery"): 1. the act or process of finding or learning something that was previously unknown. – 2. Compulsory disclosure, as a party's request, of information that relates to the litigation. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26-37; Fed. R. Crim. P. 16. – 3. The facts or documents disclosed. – 4. The pretrial phase of a lawsuit during which depositions, interrogatories, and other forms of discovery are conducted. ¶ "Discovery has broad scope. According to Federal Rule 26, which is the model in modern procedural codes, inquiry may be made into 'any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the subject matter of the action.' Thus, discovery may be had of facts incidentally relevant to the issues in the pleadings even if the facts do not directly prove or disprove the facts in question." (Hazard and Tarruffo, American Civil Procedure: An Introduction 115 (1993).
  • SAA Glossary 2005 (†241 ): n. ~ 1. Law · The process that compels a party in a lawsuit to disclose evidence and information relevant to the case. – 2. Access · The process of searching for and identifying potentially relevant materials. Notes: For discovery1, see "Depositions and Discovery," Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, part V (2003).


  • Kurian 2013 (†576 s.v. discovery): Period before a contract comes into force, during which either side may gather information to verify that the facts as represented are accurate. (†1093)