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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127944 Find in a Library
Title: Slaying the Monsters of Cost and Delay: Would Disclosure Be More Effective Than Discovery?
Journal: Judicature  Volume:74  Issue:4  Dated:(December-January 1991)  Pages:178-183
Author(s): W W Schwarzer
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following a review of the problems of discovery in civil litigation, this article proposes a system of mandatory early and ongoing reciprocal disclosure that would replace all discovery other than what the court specifically orders.
Abstract: Legal commentators widely agree that discovery as now conducted spawns some abuse and overuse that produces expense and delay. The proposed alternative requires that the plaintiff, at the time of filing the complaint, submit to the defendant copies of all "material" (having a bearing on the outcome of the action) documents and things, the names and addresses of all persons believed to have material information, and statements informing the opposing party of the material information possessed by persons under its control. Each defendant would be under the same obligation at the time of filing an answer or motion going to the merits of the case. Sufficient time would be allowed defendants to comply. The parties' disclosure obligation would continue throughout the litigation and would require them to disclose matters promptly as they come to their attention. No discovery would be permitted against an adverse party until after full disclosure has been made, and then only by order of the court on a showing of particularized need by the party seeking discovery. This procedure would narrow the scope and reduce the cost and length of litigation compared to the current system of discovery.
Main Term(s): Pretrial discovery
Index Term(s): Civil proceedings; Court delays
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