Law 101


Discovery is the formal process parties use to a case gather information and evidence from each other. This can be the most important step in a case because it allows the parties to obtain the information and evidence needed to present their arguments; to determine what evidence the other side plans to present at trial; and helps the parties focus their cases on the issues that are truly in dispute, which saves time and money at trial. In some cases, the information and evidence obtained during discovery points out strengths in your case, or weaknesses in the opposing party’s case, which can lead to settlement offers.

Discovery procedures take place outside of court. Parties are expected to work with each other to obtain discovery and resolve disputes. Court intervention is only allowed after the parties have attempted to resolve disputes on their own.

Community Resources

Document review. For Help
Sacramento Superior Court Courthouse
Sacramento County Superior Court, Civil Division


The Judicial Council creates many of the forms needed for Discovery. For other situations, you may need to create your own forms and pleadings. Our Legal Research Guides and Step by Steps have instructions and samples for many commonly-used forms.


Form Resources

Court Summons Judicial Council Forms The Judicial Council creates many of the forms needed for Discovery.


Free online videos on Discovery-related topics.

Discovery video Video Series: Discovery
Computer keyboard Discovery Packet for Videos