How to Use Forensic Auditors During Discovery

Discovery is a process that can be used in litigation. That means you have to be in court. Discovery is the process of asking for information that don’t already have or information that will corroborate information that you do already have. Almost by definition it is a fishing expedition. But the days in which you can throw out a wide net are over. Neither federal nor state judges will permit discovery unless it is specific, and relates directly to the functional narratives of the case proffered by both sides of the lawsuit.

Good forensic examiners are required to frame proper requests for discovery and to focus the narrative that will support those requests for discovery. Failure to do so will most likely result in either no answer from the opposition, or a slew of meaningless objections. The next step, a motion to compel, will only be successful if you can succinctly state why you are requesting this information and how it specifically relates to the defense narrative or the prima facie case of the party seeking foreclosure.

Unless you are successful in obtaining an order granting your motion to compel, any subsequent motion for sanctions or motion in limine will be summarily denied and your opposition will be able to introduce evidence that they refused to give you during discovery.

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In every case in which you seek discovery against the foreclosing party, that party is seeking to conceal its weaknesses. They will raise objections, whether supportable or not. You should work with an attorney who is familiar with trial practice and a forensic auditor or examiner who can help you pass the following tests. An affidavit from a forensic auditor detailing why you need this information will go a long way toward supporting your argument in favor of an order compelling your opposition to give adequate responses to your request for discovery.

see The Tests You Need to Meet in Order to Get Discovery

If the data in question passes these two tests (yes, it’s relevant to the case, and no, it’s not privileged information) then the courts look at the following six factors laid out in FRCP Rule 26(b)(1) to help determine rulings on proportionality.

  • The importance of the issues at stake

  • The amount of information in controversy

  • The parties’ access to the information in question

  • The parties’ resources to obtain the information

  • The importance of the discovery in resolving the issues

  • Whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit

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