Civil Discovery in Virginia

Civil Discovery in Virginia
Publication Date: 2021
Electronic Forms: 26
Available Formats: Print (697 pages, softcover, 1 volume)
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Product #: 881

Information

Content Highlights:
  • Planning and Using Discovery
  • Scope of Discovery
  • Interrogatories
  • Inspection of Documents, Things, and Places
  • Initiating and Preparing for Depositions
  • Taking and Defending Depositions
  • Depositions Used and Taken in Other States
  • Physical and Mental Examination of Persons
  • Discovery of Experts
  • Requests for Admission
  • Judicial Supervision and Enforcement
  • Key Discovery Principles
  • Discovery in The Digital Age

Discovery is now the central focus of a civil litigator’s life. If your practice is in Virginia state courts, this book should be your constant companion. Looking only through court opinions to find answers to somewhat esoteric questions can be challenging and burdensome. This book will eliminate or at least seriously minimize the need to do that.

The 2021 edition is updated through the 2021 session of the General Assembly, the latest discovery court rules changes,  as well as the latest Virginia and federal court decisions. Among changes covered in this edition are updates on failure to preserve evidence in anticipation of litigation, use of depositions in summary judgment, and the discovery of electronic documents and other information.

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The Virginia Arbitration Roadmap

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER LIST

1. Planning and Using Discovery

2. Scope of Discovery

3. Interrogatories

4. Inspection of Documents, Things, and Places

5. Initiating and Preparing for Depositions

6. Taking and Defending Depositions

7. Depositions Used and Taken in Other States

8. Physical and Mental Examination of Persons

9. Discovery of Experts

10. Requests for Admission

11. Judicial Supervision and Enforcement

12. Key Discovery Principles

13. Discovery in the Digital Age

CHAPTER 1: PLANNING AND USING DISCOVERY

1.1 AN OVERVIEW OF DISCOVERY PLANNING
        1.101 In General
        1.102 Why Plan Discovery?
        1.103 Nature and Type of Case
    
1.2 THE LAW OF DISCOVERY
        1.201 Court Rules
        1.202 Statutes
        1.203 Case Law

1.3 THE DISCOVERY PLAN
        1.301 Objectives
        1.302 Preservation of Evidence
        1.303 Preservation of the Client’s Information
        1.304 Preservation of Third Party Evidence
        1.305 Electronic Discovery
        1.306 Formulating the Plan
        1.307 The Uniform Pretrial Scheduling Order

1.4 PRIORITY AND SEQUENCE OF DISCOVERY
        1.401 In General
        1.402 Examples of Case-Specific Discovery Sequences

1.5 SAMPLE DISCOVERY PLAN—PRODUCTS LIABILITY
CHEMICAL EXPLOSION CASE

1.6 METHODS AND TOOLS OF DISCOVERY
        1.601 Informal Discovery Tools
        1.602 Formal Discovery Tools
        1.603 Other Statutory Devices
        1.604 Exchange of Information Pursuant to a Scheduling
        Order

1.7 USING DISCOVERY
        1.701 In General
        1.702 Depositions
        1.703 Requests for Admissions
        1.704 Interrogatories

1.8 PROFESSIONALISM AND DISCOVERY CONFERENCES

APPENDIX 1-1: SCHEDULING ORDER

APPENDIX 1-2: SCHEDULING ORDER

APPENDIX 1-3: UNIFORM PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER

APPENDIX 1-4: SAMPLE ENTRIES FOR A DISCOVERY PLAN—
PRODUCTS LIABILITY CHEMICAL EXPLOSION CASE

APPENDIX 1-5: WORKSHEET—UNIFORM PRE TRIAL
SCHEDULING ORDER RULE 1:18

CHAPTER 2: SCOPE OF DISCOVERY

2.1 SCOPE OF CHAPTER

2.2 LIBERAL DISCOVERY AND RULE 4:1(B)

2.3 RELEVANCE
        2.301 Relevance to the Subject Matter
        2.302 Reasonably Calculated to Lead to Discovery of
        Admissible Evidence
        2.303 Discoverability of Specific Kinds of Information

2.4 PRIVILEGES LIMITING SCOPE OF DISCOVERY
        2.401 Attorney-Client Privilege
        2.402 Doctor-Patient Privilege and Related Limitations
        2.403 Privilege for Communications Between Counselors,
        Social Workers, and Psychologists and Their Clients
        2.404 Marital Communications Privilege
        2.405 Priest-Penitent Privilege
        2.406 Protection for Trade Secrets
        2.407 Privilege Against Self-Incrimination
        2.408 State Secrets Privilege
        2.409 Privileges Afforded to Government Executives and
        Officials
        2.410 Accountant-Client Privilege
        2.411 Bank-Customer or Banker-Depositor Privilege
        2.412 Privilege Related to Insurance
        2.413 Privilege Related to Tax Information
        2.414 Privilege Related to Disclosure of News-Gathering
        Process
        2.415 Self-Evaluation Privilege
        2.419 Miscellaneous Privileges and Limitations on Discovery
    
2.5 WORK PRODUCT PROTECTION

2.6 WAIVER
        2.601 Introduction
        2.602 Waiver by Voluntary Disclosure
        2.603 Waiver by Inadvertent Disclosure
        2.604 Waiver by Making a Claim or Defense in an Action
        2.605 Waiver by Immunity

CHAPTER 3: INTERROGATORIES

3.1 IN GENERAL
        3.101 Nature and Purpose
        3.102 Rules of Court
        3.103 Use of Interrogatories Generally
    
3.2 TIMING, NUMBER, AND FORMAT OF INTERROGATORIES
AND USE OF FORMS
        3.201 Timing
        3.202 Number
        3.203 Format and Instructions
        3.204 Use of Forms
        3.205 Filing

3.3 SCOPE AND CONTENT OF INTERROGATORIES
        3.301 Identifying Persons with Knowledge of Discoverable
        Matters
        3.302 Identifying Experts and Their Expected Testimony
        3.303 Identifying Facts
        3.304 Identifying Documents
        3.305 Insurance Information
        3.306 Contention Interrogatories

3.4 RESPONDING TO INTERROGATORIES—ANSWERS AND
OBJECTIONS
        3.401 Duty to Answer and When to Answer
        3.402 Grounds for Objection
        3.403 Supplementation of Responses

3.5 USING LEGAL ASSISTANTS TO DRAFT
INTERROGATORIES AND RESPONSES

3.6 MOTIONS CONCERNING INTERROGATORIES
        3.601 Motion for a Protective Order
        3.602 Motion to Compel Answers
        3.603 Motion for Sanctions

3.7 USE OF INTERROGATORIES FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
OR AT TRIAL

APPENDIX 3-1: SAMPLE INTERROGATORIES

APPENDIX 3-2: SAMPLE OBJECTIONS

APPENDIX 3-3: SAMPLE OATHS TO BE EXECUTED BY
RESPONDING PARTY

CHAPTER 4: INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS, THINGS, AND
PLACES

4.1 OVERVIEW

4.2 AUTHORITY AND SCOPE
        4.201 Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court
        4.202 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
        4.203 Scope of Discovery
        4.204 Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act

4.3 LIMITATIONS
        4.301 In General
        4.302 Protective Orders
        4.303 Privileged Materials

4.4 ELEMENTS OF THE REQUEST
        4.401 Persons to Whom a Request May Be Directed
        4.402 Leave of Court
        4.403 Timing of Service
        4.404 Description of Material Sought
        4.405 Signature and Filing Requirements
        4.406 Form of Production

4.5 RESPONSE
        4.501 Timing of Response
        4.502 Manner of Response
    
4.6 NONCOMPLIANCE
        4.601 Motion to Compel
        4.602 Discovery Orders and Sanctions
        4.603 Motion to Show Cause

4.7 PRODUCTION OF PARTICULAR THINGS
        4.701 Insurance Agreements
        4.702 Accident Reports
        4.703 Tax Returns and Financial Statements
        4.704 Experts’ Materials
        4.705 Hospital Incident Reports and Other Documents
        4.706 Medical Records

APPENDIX 4-1: REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

APPENDIX 4-2: REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS
AND THINGS

APPENDIX 4-3: REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

APPENDIX 4-4: REQUEST FOR SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM

APPENDIX 4-5: REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO ENTER UPON
LAND

APPENDIX 4-6: MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER

APPENDIX 4-7: STIPULATION AGREEMENT AND PROTECTIVE
ORDER

APPENDIX 4-8: SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM FOR HEALTH
INFORMATION

APPENDIX 4-9: LETTER TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
REGARDING SUBPOENA FOR HEALTH INFORMATION

CHAPTER 5: INITIATING AND PREPARING FOR
DEPOSITIONS

5.1 OVERVIEW

5.2 MECHANICS OF DEPOSITIONS
        5.201 In General
        5.202 Place of Deposition
        5.203 Notice of Examination (Deposition)
        5.204 Notice of Deposition of a Corporate Designee
        5.205 Telephone, Teleconference, and Video Conference
        Depositions
        5.206 Videotaped Depositions
        5.207 De Bene Esse Depositions
        5.208 Handling Objections at a Deposition
        5.209 Timing and Sequence of Depositions
        5.210 Subpoenaed Presence
        5.211 Reimbursement for Travel Expenses

5.3 EVALUATION AND GOAL SETTING
        5.301 In General
        5.302 Identifying Deponents
        5.303 Practical and Strategic Considerations
        5.304 General Evidentiary Considerations

5.4 PURPOSES OF DEPOSITIONS
        5.401 Assessment of Foundation, Credibility, Effectiveness,
        and Bias
        5.402 Discovery of Information
        5.403 Impeachment
        5.404 Support for Motions
        5.405 Support for Requests for Admissions
        5.406 Settlement
        5.407 Use as Evidence at Trial
        5.408 Rules of Evidence
        5.409 Binding Effect of Depositions

5.5 THE VIRGINIA HUMAN RIGHTS ACT
        5.501 In General
        5.502 Review of Case Law, Jury Instructions, and Statutes
        5.503 Review of Experts, Facts, and Key Elements of Case
        5.504 Preparation of the Favorable Witness or Client
        5.505 Party Participation

5.6 PREPARATION AND TECHNIQUES FOR QUESTIONING
        5.601 Modes of Questioning
        5.602 Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product
        Protection
        5.603 Guarding One’s Theories and Strategies

5.7 AVOIDING MISTAKES THAT CAN LEAD TO SANCTIONS
        5.701 Thorough Preparation
        5.702 Importance of the Truth
        5.703 Other Grounds for Sanctions

5.8 “TRICKS” OF THE TRADE

5.9 TIPS FOR WORKING WITH CLIENTS
APPENDIX 5-1: NOTICE OF DEPOSITION DUCES TECUM
(AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT)

APPENDIX 5-2: NOTICE OF DEPOSITION DUCES TECUM FOR
CORPORATE DESIGNEE

APPENDIX 5-3: DEPOSITION PREPARATION—ATTORNEY
CHECKLIST

APPENDIX 5-4: DEPOSITION PREPARATION—CLIENT
DEPOSITION CHECKLIST

APPENDIX 5-5: DEPOSITION PREPARATION—TIPS FOR
WITNESSES

CHAPTER 6: TAKING AND DEFENDING DEPOSITIONS

6.1 GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
        6.101 Introduction
        6.102 Importance of Preparation
    
6.2 CONDUCTING THE DEPOSITION
        6.201 Controlling the Deposition
        6.202 Stipulations and Objections

6.3 ERRORS AND IRREGULARITIES

6.4 HANDLING IMPROPER BEHAVIOR
        6.401 In General
        6.402 Making the Record
        6.403 Resolving Disputes with Opposing Counsel
        6.404 Judicial Intervention
        6.405 Defense Considerations

6.5 USES OF THE DEPOSITION
        6.501 In General
        6.502 Impeachment Techniques
        6.503 Party Depositions
        6.504 Rule 4:7(a)(4) Uses
        6.505 Deposition Versus Examination
        6.506 Using Only a Portion of the Deposition
        6.507 Use by Different Parties and in Other Actions
        6.508 Leading Questions

6.6 CORRECTIONS TO TRANSCRIPT

CHAPTER 7: DEPOSITIONS USED AND TAKEN IN OTHER
STATES


7.1 INTRODUCTION
        7.101 Lack of Uniformity Among States
        7.102 Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act
        7.103 Principles of Comity
    
7.2 PROCEDURE FOR TAKING OUT-OF-STATE
DEPOSITIONS
        7.201 Authority for Taking Depositions Outside Virginia
        7.202 Courts and Other Tribunals That State Courts Will
        Aid in Taking a Deposition
        7.203 Persons Who May Seek to Take Depositions Under
        Foreign Deposition Laws
        7.204 Application to the Foreign State for Assistance in
        Taking a Deposition
        7.205 Notice of Deposition
        7.206 Location of Out-of-State Deposition
        7.207 Witness Fee for the Deponent
        7.208 Issuance of Subpoenas
    
7.3 CONFLICT OF LAWS
        7.301 In General
        7.302 Choice of Procedure for Taking Depositions
        7.303 Protective Orders

APPENDIX 7-1: NATIONAL SURVEY OF FOREIGN DEPOSITION
LAWS

APPENDIX 7-2: MOTION FOR COMMISSION TO TAKE
DEPOSITION OUT OF STATE

APPENDIX 7-3: COMMISSION AUTHORIZING THE TAKING OF
OUT-OF-STATE DEPOSITIONS

CHAPTER 8: PHYSICAL AND MENTAL EXAMINATION OF
PERSONS


8.1 RULE 4:10 OF THE RULES OF THE VIRGINIA SUPREME
COURT
        8.101 Introduction
        8.102 Who May Be Examined
        8.103 Who May Conduct the Examination
        8.104 Prerequisites for the Examination
        8.105 Selection and Qualification of the Examiner
        8.106 The Court’s Order
        8.107 The Report
        8.108 The Examiner’s Testimony
        8.109 The Examiner’s Liability

CHAPTER 9: DISCOVERY OF EXPERTS

9.1 IN GENERAL

9.2 CLASSIFICATION OF EXPERTS UNDER RULE 4:1(b)(4)

9.3 DISCOVERY OF EXPERTS WHO MAY BE TRIAL
WITNESSES

9.4 DISCOVERY OF RETAINED EXPERTS NOT EXPECTED TO
BE CALLED AS WITNESSES AT TRIAL

9.5 INFORMALLY CONSULTED EXPERTS

9.6 EXPERT INFORMATION NOT ACQUIRED IN
ANTICIPATION OF LITIGATION

9.7 EXPERTS UNCONNECTED WITH LITIGATION

9.8 INTERACTION BETWEEN RULE 4:1(b)(4) AND THE WORK
PRODUCT DOCTRINE

9.9 PAYMENT OF THE EXPERT’S FEES

9.10 EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS WITH AN OPPONENT’S
EXPERT

9.11 USE OF ADVERSE PARTY’S FORMER EMPLOYEE AS
EXPERT

CHAPTER 10: REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION

10.1 RULE GOVERNING REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION
        10.101 The Rule
        10.102 Request Procedure
    
10.2 SCOPE OF REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION

10.3 EFFECT OF ADMISSION

10.4 USE AT TRIAL
        10.401 Waiver by Failing to Introduce into Evidence
        10.402 Waiver by Permitting Evidence Contrary to
        Responses

10.5 PROHIBITED USES

10.6 SERVING REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION
        10.601 Number Permitted
        10.602 Guidelines for Preparing Requests

10.7 PERMISSIBLE SUBJECT MATTER

10.8 FORM OF THE REQUEST

10.9 RESPONSES TO REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION
        10.901 Admission
        10.902 Admission by Failure to Respond
        10.903 Denial
        10.904 Denial Based on Lack of Information: Reasonable
        Inquiry Requirement
        10.905 Objection
        10.906 Admit in Part, Deny in Part
        10.907 Guidelines for Preparing Responses

10.10 WITHDRAWAL OR AMENDMENT OF RESPONSES TO
REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION
        10.1001 Grounds for Withdrawal or Amendment
        10.1002 Effect of Withdrawal or Amendment

10.11 SANCTIONS FOR FAILURE TO ADMIT

10.12 USE AS A DISCOVERY TOOL

APPENDIX 10-1: REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION PLAINTIFF TO
DEFENDANT—LIABILITY, GENUINENESS OF MEDICAL
BILLS/RECORDS

APPENDIX 10-2: REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION PLAINTIFF TO
DEFENDANT—SLIP-AND-FALL IN SUPERMARKET
(COMBINING REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION WITH
INTERROGATORIES AND REQUEST FOR
PRODUCTION)

APPENDIX 10-3: REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION PLAINTIFF TO
DEFENDANT—GENUINENESS AND REASONABLENESS
OF MEDICAL BILLS/RECORDS (COMBINING REQUESTS
FOR ADMISSION WITH INTERROGATORIES)

CHAPTER 11: JUDICIAL SUPERVISION AND ENFORCEMENT

11.1 INTRODUCTION

11.2 SUPERVISING THE DOCKET
        11.201 In General
        11.202 Pretrial Conferences
        11.203 Pretrial Orders

11.3 JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT
        11.301 In General
        11.302 Orders to Compel
        11.303 Protective Orders

11.4 IMPOSING SANCTIONS
        11.401 In General
        11.402 Violation of Court Order Required for Some
        Sanctions
        11.403 Specific Sanctions

11.5 APPELLATE REVIEW

CHAPTER 12: KEY DISCOVERY PRINCIPLES

12.1 IN GENERAL

12.2 ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE
        12.201 Introduction
        12.202 General Formulation
        12.203 Communications from a Client
        12.204 Communications to a Lawyer
        12.205 Legal Advice
        12.206 Expectation of Confidentiality
        12.207 Crime-Fraud Exception
        12.208 Waiver

12.3 WORK PRODUCT DOCTRINE
        12.301 Introduction
        12.302 Creating the Protection
        12.303 What Is Covered
        12.304 When Applicable
        12.305 Who Can Assert the Protection
        12.306 Duration of the Protection
        12.307 Overcoming the Protection
        12.308 Crime-Fraud Exception
        12.309 Waiver
        12.310 Disclosures to Expert Witnesses

12.4 ASSERTING AND LITIGATING THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT
PRIVILEGE AND WORK PRODUCT PROTECTION

12.5 ETHICS
        12.501 Lawyers’ Dealings With Other Participants in
        Discovery Matters
        12.502 Substance of Discovery Responses
        12.503 Remedies
        12.504 Discovery Procedures
        12.505 Courtesy
    
12.6 PROFESSIONALISM AND CIVILITY

APPENDIX 12-1: PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONALISM

CHAPTER 13: DISCOVERY IN THE DIGITAL AGE

13.1 OVERVIEW
        13.101 Electronic Information and the Legal Profession
        13.102 ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct
    
13.2 CATEGORIES OF POTENTIALLY DISCOVERABLE
ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION
        13.201 In General
        13.202 Email
        13.203 Transient Messaging Communications
        13.204 The Internet
        13.205 Social Media
        13.206 Archive Data and Backup Media
        13.207 Residual Files
        13.208 The Cloud and Archives
        13.209 Metadata

13.3 ELECTRONIC DISCOVERY RULES, PROCESS AND
OBLIGATIONS
        13.301 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
        and Their Virginia Counterparts
        13.302 Sanctions
        13.303 Duty to Preserve; Litigation Holds

13.4 LIMITS ON DISCOVERY
        13.401 In General
        13.402 Economic Limits
        13.403 Overly Broad and Unduly Burdensome Requests
        13.404 Data Sampling and Cost Shifting
        13.405 Search Methodologies
        13.406 International Privacy

13.5 EMAIL AND DATABASE CONCERNS
        13.501 Communication Confidentiality and Privilege
        Concerns
        13.502 Computer-Stored Litigation Support Databases

13.6 CONCLUSION

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

INDEX

Authors

EDITOR:

 

 

Wyatt B. Durrette, Jr.

 

AUTHORS:

 

Dean T. Buckius

 

Alicha M. Grubb

 

Hon. D. Arthur Kelsey

 

Daniel J. Laws

 

Robert W. Loftin

 

K. Brett Marston

 

Amanda Strassner Merrill

 

Meghan A. Podolny

 

Robert Tayloe Ross

 

J. Brandon Sieg

 

Mary Lynn Tate

 

James W. Walker

 

T. Vaden Warren, Jr.

 

Johneal M. White

 

Spencer M. Wiegard

 

Jonathan M. Wilan

 

Thomas W. Williamson, Jr.

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