This is the next post in our series on the handling of Santa Ana, California cases involving disability discrimination against employees. Our last article dealt with filing a disability discrimination claim with the FEHC. It is important to understand that if the administrative process is not properly followed then you may be prohibited from bringing suit in Court. In this article we will discuss the role of discovery after you have filed a lawsuit. Discovery is a crucial tool that is often necessary when establishing that your employer broke the law.
Discovery is a process by which information is gained from the other side in a lawsuit. It can take many forms. The first of these forms are Interrogatories. These are written questions to which the other side must provide detailed answers. The second of these forms are Requests for Production. These are requests for written records. A third form of discovery is a Deposition. This is where a witness or party must appear in the presence of a Court Reporter and answer questions under oath. A transcript of the witness’ testimony will be generated. The fourth form of discovery is a Subpoena. This allows one to obtain documents and other records from a non-party to the case. These are important tools which should be utilized in the building of a case.
It is important to understand the reason why discovery is important in a disability discrimination lawsuit. Contrary to what one may see on television, trials are not won with “surprise” evidence. They are won by presenting evidence which is gathered over time. Discovery can be used to obtain emails, internal memos, and other documents which show that an Orange County employer did not feel it necessary to make reasonable accommodations for one who was suffering from a disability. The process can also be used to obtain testimony from witnesses who believe that the company was hostile towards the victimized employee. Having such information will be important when presenting your case to a jury.
It is important that you have an employment law attorney to assist you with the discovery process. Requests must be made in a certain form and within certain time frames. Also, it is important to understand that discovery is not a free pass to request any piece of information which one may want. If requests are too broad then the other side may not be obligated to answer. Also, there are instances in which the other side may refuse to provide information even though they are required to do so. An experienced lawyer will file a Motion to Compel and request that the Court order the other side to provide adequate responses. Not having counsel to help you with this process can result in your not having needed information at trial.
Our Santa Ana disability discrimination lawyers assist those who have been mistreated or wrongfully terminated by their employers. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also service the Orange County areas of Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.