When an owner opens a small business, their focus tends to be on matters such as establishing operations, generating business, and producing high-quality products and services. What they may not be thinking of is being served with a lawsuit. However, most businesses will be sued at some point during their existence. Once the case gets underway, each side will have the opportunity to serve one another with discovery. As a litigant and business owner, knowing how to respond to discovery in a Florida lawsuit is crucial.
What is Discovery in a Florida Small Business Lawsuit?
Discovery is a legal process that provides parties to a lawsuit the opportunity to formally request information from one another. Discovery requests are made to gather evidence supporting a litigant’s claims and defenses. These processes are stated in and protected under Florida law. Consequently, a party’s failure to respond to discovery in a Florida lawsuit may have legal implications.
How to Respond to Discovery in a Florida Small Business Lawsuit
Parties to a Florida small business lawsuit can serve various types of discovery on one another. Florida discovery includes Requests for Production, Requests for Admissions, Interrogatories, Subpoenas, and Depositions. Depending on the facts of the case, a plaintiff or defendant may use some or all of these forms of discovery.
A good place to start with discovery in a Florida business case is by understanding what is being asked of you. Here is a basic overview of the types of discovery you may encounter in a Florida small business lawsuit:
- If you are served with Requests for Admission, you are being asked to admit or deny certain facts.
- Requests for Production require the party to gather and produce certain identified types of documents.
- Interrogatories request that the recipient provide detailed answers to certain questions.
- Depositions on Written Questions also ask that the deponent provide sworn answers to certain inquiries.
- A Subpoena Duces tecum requires the served party to appear and bring identified documents with them at a designed time and place.
- Deposition notices tell a party or other witnesses that they must appear to be questioned by the opposing side’s attorney under oath.
You could be served with some or all of these forms of discovery in a business lawsuit. Regardless of the type of discovery, it’s important to know how to formulate an appropriate and protective response. Just because a party serves you with discovery, that does not necessarily mean that they are making proper requests. For example, written discovery requests can be overly broad, irrelevant, and improperly phrased. In such a circumstance, you will need to raise the proper objection to protect your interests and information. Further, improper deposition notices may need to be challenged through a motion to quash. Additionally, these requests may be seeking privileged information. You will need to assert the appropriate privilege to protect your information and interests.
The best way to evaluate discovery in your Florida small business lawsuit is by consulting with an experienced Florida business lawyer. Your business attorney can help you review any discovery in your case and determine if there are applicable objections and other responses.
Contact an Experienced Florida Business Lawyer
Attorney Richard Sierra at the Florida Small Business Legal Center assists clients like you with commercial leasing, business, and litigation matters. As always, Our Goal Is to Help You Succeed™. For an appointment, you may call us at 1-866-842-5202 or use the contact form on our website. We represent clients throughout the State of Florida, including Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Deerfield Beach, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Orlando, Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa, and surrounding communities.