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Each party in a legal case has the opportunity and the right to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the other party’s case. Some of the information, called Initial Disclosures, must be disclosed to the other party at the beginning of the case, and the party with the information must provide it to the other party without being asked for it. Other information must be uncovered via the process of discovery, which means that the party with the information must provide it, but only if asked for it via a request for discovery.[1]

Essentially, a party must disclose to the other party the information, documents, and witnesses, among other things, that support the party’s allegations and/or defenses. “Discovery” refers to the procedures by which each party learns about the information, documents, and witnesses that the other party does not have to disclose.[2]

Each party must immediately and recurrently disclose to the other party any additional documents and/or information as they become known. If a party fails to provide the information, documents, and/or witnesses that should have been disclosed, or if a party fails to provide discoverable information when asked for it, the judge might not allow that party to use said information, documents, and/or witnesses at trial.[3]

There are different types of discovery and different ways to request discovery.


Depending on the amount of damages (i.e., money to restore the claimant’s integrity) claimed in a case, a party is entitled to a certain amount of standard discovery—meaning the number of depositions, interrogatories, requests for admission, and requests for the production of documents in a case. If a party requires more than the standard extent of discovery, the parties can stipulate to extraordinary discovery, or a party can file a motion asking the judge to order extraordinary discovery.[4]


Parties to a case may discover any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the claims or defenses of any party, and if the discovery satisfies the standards of proportionality. Privileged matters that are not discoverable or admissible in any proceeding of any kind or character include all information in any form provided during and created specifically as part of a request for an investigation, the investigation, findings, or conclusions of peer review, care review, or quality assurance processes of any organization of health care providers as defined in the Utah Health Care Malpractice Act for the purpose of evaluating care provided to reduce morbidity and mortality or to improve the quality of medical care, or for the purpose of peer review of the ethics, competence, or professional conduct of any health care provider.[5]


Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods: (i) depositions upon oral examination or written questions; (ii) written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property, for inspection and other purposes; (iii) physical and mental examinations; (iv) requests for admission; and (v) subpoenas, other than for a court hearing or trial.[6]


If you are served with discovery requests (or “requests for discovery”—same thing), you must answer the discovery to the best of your ability. You are not excused from making disclosures or responses to discovery because you are not finished investigating the case. If you do not disclose or supplement your disclosures timely, you may not be able to use the witness, document, or material at any hearing or trial.[7]

Additionally, if you fail to provide adequate discovery responses, in Utah, the opposing party may file a Statement of Discovery Issues, as well as a motion for an order requiring the other party to pay the reasonable costs, expenses, and attorney fees incurred in showing that you did not provide adequate discovery responses.[8] The aggrieved party who is unable to obtain responses to discovery from the opposing party may ask for the following sanctions:

  1. deem the matter or any other designated facts to be established in accordance with the claim or defense of the party obtaining the order;
  2. prohibit the disobedient party from supporting or opposing designated claims or defenses or from introducing designated matters into evidence;
  3. stay further proceedings until the order is obeyed;
  4. dismiss all or part of the action, strike all or part of the pleadings, or render judgment by default on all or part of the action;
  5. order the party or the attorney to pay the reasonable costs, expenses, and attorney fees, caused by the failure;
  6. treat the failure to obey an order, other than an order to submit to a physical or mental examination, as contempt of court; and
  7. instruct the jury regarding an adverse inference.[9]


Are you in need of affordable, top-quality legal services from a paralegal? Specifically, do you need help with discovery? Let Altiorem Legal Services help you today! We are knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced in the process of discovery and in drafting all manner of legal documents, pleadings, motions, memoranda, letters, etc. If you need a top-quality, professional, well-written, well researched, and compelling request for discovery or other legal document drafted, then look no further! The quality of our legal documents goes well above and beyond the average legal industry writing quality in Utah; we produce top-quality, properly written legal documents with impeccable grammar, punctuation, spelling, structure, flow, information, compelling legal arguments, and persuasive legal conclusions.

Our team of paralegals are highly experienced in working with attorneys, other paralegals, and court personnel. We are happy to receive documents via email from you, speak with you on the phone, look through court files, or even translate documents (English / Spanish)!

The Utah legal system can be dauting and confusing. Let Altiorem Legal Services relieve your stress and be your guide.

Altiorem Legal Services has a team of professional paralegals ready to work for you. We want to give you the best chance at getting an outcome for your case that you will be happy with.

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If you are interested in retaining our services, we can be contacted at (801) 855-6541 (text or call) and at If you have a project in mind that you would like us to work on, please click here to send us a project request and get a quote; alternatively, you can send us an email detailing the work you need performed, and a real person will respond promptly.

[1] See
[2] See id.
[3] See id.
[4] See id.
[5] See Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 26(b)(1).
[6] See id. at 26(c).
[7] See id. at 26(d).
[8] See id. at 37(c).
[9] See id. at 37(b).