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If the road is life, then discovery is litigation. It is how we reach our destination. Unfortunately, discovery is like getting there with someone in the backseat.

Anyone who has ever traveled with passengers, especially children, knows how it plays out. In the beginning, everybody is excited. Everyone gleefully piles into the car, eager to launch. No one has any trouble amusing themselves. A couple hours in, a bathroom break and gas station snack later, it hits. The adrenaline wears off and the tedium kicks in. And then you hear the dreaded cry coming from the rear: Are we there yet?

Like any road trip, discovery has its highs and lows. Developing a good discovery plan can be interesting and rewarding. Discovery brings us the facts-and the evidence we need to prove them. It fills the gaps in our case. Plus, without discovery, we would not know the thrill of finding that gem of a document, securing the admission during a deposition, or uncovering those deliciously indiscreet internal emails. Litigation without discovery would be like riding in a car blindfolded; there would be no way to mark our progress, we would miss all the roadside attractions, and bad things would almost certainly happen.


2021, Published in Litigation 48, no. 1 (2021), by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association