Divorce Ask a Legal Question 07 14 Discovery: A procedure designed to allow disclosure of information between Plaintiffs and Defendants. Written questions, oral questioning, document production and admissions requests are generally allowed. Discovery was designed to to prevent trial by ambush.Interrogatories: Written questions from Plaintiff to Defendant, or from Defendant to Plaintiff. The questions are mailed to the Plaintiff, Defendant or the attorney for response in writing. The answers or responses are usually due between 20-30 days.I worked for a financial company run by my wife in Rhode Island. We are now getting divorced. Her lawyer finally dropped off Discovery papers long after they were due. On July 1, 2010 the four of us (the 2 lawyers, my wife and I) had a meeting.I requested to my lawyer that I would be permitted to check off papers that I would like to be copied; either by the staff of my lawyer, or to be sent out to a copy center, by my lawyer. Some of these requested papers were my complete 2007 and 2008 Federal Tax Returns. I requested copies of the joint section that my wife and I both signed and copies of her company's Federal Tax Returns for both years and all the financial back-up paperwork that made up her company's Federal Tax return. As you know the final profit or loss number on the company's returns flows onto the Joint return.When I requested these copies from my lawyer, the other lawyer objected and stated he was going to immediately file an Emergency Motion for Limited Protective Order to prevent me to have any and own copies of my own 2007 and 2008 Federal Tax Returns.At that moment, I asked my lawyer again for copies of my requested pages, as I knew that there was no judicial decision on the Emergency Motion as it had yet to be filed. My lawyer denied my request, stating she knew there was going to be an Emergency Motion Was my lawyer correct in denying my request of copies?Then just yesterday, July 13, 2010 my lawyer received a copy of the other lawyers Emergency Motion stating that he will file. No date was given when he was going to file his paperwork. Shouldn't my lawyer allowed me to have copies of all the paperwork I requested before any judge had made a decision?
Category: Discovery |
State: Rhode Island |
We are unable to determine whether your attorney had copies in his possession and if so, the reason for not releasing them to you. Generally, a client is entitled to his own file, but an attorney isn't required to make copies of everything for the client. A lawyer is required to release the file when the employment relationship is over, but may retain anything deemed "attorney work product". However, a person may obtain a copy of a jointly filed return through the IRS. Please see the link below.
In the discovery process of a lawsuit, a party may request information through interrogatories or a request for production as long as it is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. A party served with a discovery request may object to the request and ask the court for a protective order to limit or deny the request if it is irrelevant, overbroad, unduly burdensome, or intended for purposes of delay, expense, or harassment. If a party unjustifiably fails to respond timely to a discovery request, the requesting party may ask the court to compel the party to answer and pay costs and sanctions.
The frequency or intent of use of discovery allowed may be limited by the court if it determines that: (i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity by discovery in the action to obtain the information sought; or (iii) the discovery is unreasonably burdensome or expensive taking into account the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, limitations on the parties' resources, and the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation.