Discovery in Civil Litigation

Discovery in Civil Litigation


Welcome to Lawshelf’s video-course on discovery in civil litigation. This course focuses on the discovery process in civil litigation, by which parties conduct their investigations and find evidence to be used at trial. This is an introductory level course and no prior experience or knowledge of civil procedure is necessary.

We start with an overview of discovery basics. We will look at the goals behind the discovery rules and the timing of the process. We will also look at Rule 26 of the federal rules of civil procedure and its mandatory disclosures that get the discovery process going.

We will next look at the protections of the privilege and work product rules against certain discovery requests. We will focus on many varieties of privileges, including attorney-client, spousal and doctor-patient. Our work-product discussion will include the all-important “substantial need” exception.

Next, we will turn to discovery devices. Modules 3 and 4 look at depositions, which are among the most important ways attorneys investigate in preparation for civil litigation. We will discuss deposition rules, deposition procedure and oral and written depositions. We will also discuss when and under what circumstances deposition testimony can be used at trial.

Other discovery devices are covered in modules 5 and 6. These include interrogatories, requests for production of documents, physical and mental examinations and requests for admission. We will go through each of these devices and explain when they are used and how they are handled under the rules of civil procedure.

At the completion of this course, you should have a comprehensive understanding of the discovery process, its rules and purposes and the mechanisms by which the discovery devices are carried out.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.

What is a video-course?

A LawShelf video-course is an in-depth series of presentations on a discreet legal topic. LawShelf video-courses focus on practical legal information and applications and are each designed to familiarize the viewer with a legal topic quickly and efficiently.

Who should take a video-course?

Our video courses are designed for professionals such as attorneys, paralegals, corporate officers and financial professionals, as well as laypeople looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of law. The courses allow you to acquire the specific knowledge and skills that you need without the expense and time commitment of going “back to school” for a degree. 

How do I learn?

Video courses are divided into 5 or 6 modules.  Each module contains a video lesson (usually about 15 minutes long) and a series of self-test questions that you can use to practice and make sure that you understand the material.

How do I complete a video-course?

To complete a video-course, you must pass a 10-question multiple-choice examination by scoring 70% or higher.  The questions on the exam are randomly selected from the self-test question sets for the various modules. You can retake an exam as many times as you need to, though you will not get the same questions each time since the questions are drawn from an exam bank.

How long will it take me to complete a video-course?

Between watching the modules, doing the self-test practice questions, reviewing the material and taking the final exam, we estimate that completing a video-course requires a time investment of 4-5 hours.  The courses are designed to get straight to the point. We’re cognizant that your time is valuable, and we condense the information you need to know to comprehensively cover a subject into as little time as practical.

Is there limit to how many video-courses I can take or complete?

No. A LawShelf subscription enables you to access any and all LawShelf content, including all video-courses. You can take courses as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

Do I receive any recognition for completing a video-course?

Once you complete the course by passing the final exam, you will be awarded a digital badge to display as evidence of your training and accomplishment.

How will a digital badge help me? 

Modern educational trends are moving away from traditional classroom-based course completion models and towards skills-based education. Employers today care more about skills than ever before. LawShelf digital badges conform to the Open Badge standard and are verifiable records of your skills that can easily be shared online.

How long do I retain access to the course materials?

You retain access the modules and take the final exam as long as you are a subscriber to LawShelf.

Discovery Basics-Module 1 of 6

Protective Orders and Privileges-Module 2 of 6

Depositions: Types and Purposes-Module 3 of 6

Depositions: Objections and Use at Trial-Module 4 of 6

Interrogatories and Requests for Admission-Module 5 of 6

Requests for Production and Examinations-Module 6 of 6

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.