Never Underestimate the Power of Discovery in Your Child Custody Case.

trial preparation May 01, 2017

I just finished a case last Friday that had been going on about a year. We thought we would be able to settle the case because the right outcome seemed fairly obvious to my client & myself. Unfortunately it was not that obvious to the other side so we had to go through years worth of litigation, court appearances, attorneys fees & lots of headache for my client.

My client was under a lot of stress but persevered & in the months before our trial setting we finally figured out that there was no way the other side was going to compromise. So we started to hit the discovery hard. I took the other party's deposition & it was quite lengthy & I didn't go in unprepared & was very strategic with the questions that I asked & the information that I wanted to know.

One of my goals during every deposition is to get a better understanding of what the other side is going to say during the custody trial & lock them in to their answers. That way it makes it easier for me to impeach them at trial. My client & I were happy with the way the deposition went, but it really didn't seem like it made a difference in the scheme of things because here we were continuing to prepare for the trial & despite the questions I asked of the other party in my deposition and irogitory, request for admission, the husband did not seem shaken, he was firm in his position. So fast forward after I have done the deposition & discovery it is time for trial.

In this particular case their was a guardian ad litem assigned to the case by the court & the guardian ad litem had reviewed all the discovery I had propounded, all of the pleading & apparently he did not get to review the deposition until the days leading up to the trial.

The guardian ad litem was going to make a recommendation to the judge that was not in my client's favor. I was feeling a little discouraged & worried the court was going to rule in their favor. As it turns out, the guardian ad litem really sunk his teeth into the deposition I had done.