Discovery in Virginia Civil Litigation Cases

A skilled civil litigation attorney should start investigating facts once they are retained and not wait until discovery opens to begin their case. They should already have done some investigation at the outset that will help the attorney structure their discovery to show what direction they are headed. The attorney will begin investigating facts immediately upon being retained and continue to do so through the formal mechanisms of discovery once the case is up and running.

The attorney has whatever tools the civil rules of the jurisdiction allow, and that is for written discovery and depositions and to collect records from the parties and third-parties through a subpoena. An attorney could also do their own investigation outside of that which is called work product. Read below to learn more about the discovery in Virginia civil litigation cases.

Methods of Discovery Used in Civil Litigations

The methods of discovery in Virginia civil litigation cases include issuing interrogatories and document requests or requests for admissions, which are permitted by the rules and attorneys issue subpoenas to third parties to compel them to produce documents or to appear in deposition and they take the deposition of witnesses. Parties can also conduct depositions.

Documents Obtained During Discovery in NoVa Cases

The necessary documents for discovery are whatever documents that show the transaction and how the parties treated the transaction at issue. If it is a property dispute, the land transfer and title documents will be needed. In business transactions, it is contracts or purchase agreements or amendments or other commercial records. If it is a personal injury case, it will be medical records.


A subpoena is essentially a court order to appear at a time and place and testify or produce records. A party is limited by their jurisdiction when they want to serve a subpoena, so they have to follow the rules of the court, and it depends whether it is federal or state. Usually in state courts, parties are limited in where they can subpoena a person or entity and can usually only serve a subpoena within the state in which the court sits. If a person has to serve someone outside of the state, they have to follow the rules of that state. There are limitations based upon the state’s own rules and codes that restrict how and when a subpoena can be served outside of the state, and they have to follow those rules.

Witness Testimony in NoVa Cases

There are two kinds of witnesses. There is a friendly witness or a hostile witness and the friendly witness including the parties can be scheduled to appear voluntarily. The attorney will coordinate with the witness’ attorney if they have one and ask them to come and appear. Typically, an attorney would give them a subpoena and would tell them about it because a subpoena forces them to appear and they are not taking any chances. If they are hostile, the lawyer issues subpoenas to them and forces them to appear at a certain time and place to testify or produce records without coordinating with them or their attorney as one they learn that they will be needed to testify, they will avoid service.

Call a Virginia Lawyer About Discovery in Civil Litigation Cases

If you have any questions about the discovery in Virginia civil litigation cases and how an attorney could help you, call today. A seasoned attorney could stand by your side throughout the process and ensure that your best interests are protected.