At Inlet Law, we often receive questions regarding the BC Supreme Court discovery process. Clients worry about what needs to be disclosed, what happens to their confidential records, and how the documents and information they share will be used.
The discovery process for a typical employment matter has three parts: document discovery, examination for discovery, and interrogatories.
Today, we will discuss interrogatories.
Interrogatories are a series of questions posed by one party to an action to the opposing party. The questions should be relevant to one of the issues being litigated and are posed in the hopes of gaining more detailed information about the events that took place. Interrogatories may be used in situations where the posing party requires specific information that may not readily be available to an individual off the top of their head. The 21-day timeline and written format allow the answering party to locate and collect the detailed information that has been requested.
For example, interrogatories that may be posed in the employment law context include questions about workplace policies, the names and contact information of the directors of a company, a party’s bank account information, or numbers pertaining to sales quotas.
Once served with these questions, the opposing party has 21 days to provide the answers through a written legal document called an affidavit. Affidavits are used as evidence in a court proceeding and are sworn under oath. An affidavit must be accurate and truthful. Counsel to the answering party will assist with the creation of the affidavit and overall presentation of the requested information. The duty to answer interrogatories is ongoing. If the answering party becomes aware that the information they provided was incorrect, they must correct the error promptly.
After the answers have been submitted, the party who requested the interrogatories will examine the information to ensure it is sufficient. If they believe the questions have not been answered appropriately, they may request a more detailed answer be provided.
While document discovery and examination for discovery take place in every litigation, interrogatories only occur if the party who will have to answer the questions consents or the court grants permission.
Note: This article does not contain legal advice. If you would like advice on discovery or your legal matter, please contact Inlet Law at 604 39-INLET (604 394-6538) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.