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In law, pretrial procedures providing for the exchange of information between the parties involved. Discovery may be made through interrogatories, written questions sent from one side to the other in an attempt to secure important facts. It also can be made through depositions, whereby a witness is sworn and, in the presence of attorneys for both sides, is subjected to questions. (The written record of the proceedings also is called a deposition.) Other forms of discovery include an order of production and inspection, which compels the opposing party to produce relevant documents or other evidence, and requests for medical examination in cases in which a party's mental or physical condition is at issue.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on discovery, visit Britannica.com.