under discovery

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Hello everybody!
This is a fragment from a detective film highly loaded with legal vocabulary.
A: Permission to play the tape?
B: Prosecution held that tape back. We asked for all such records under discovery.

Unfortunately no more context. Am I right assuming "We asked for all such records under discovery" ≈ "We asked for all such records you have in possession"?
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    "Discovery" is a legal process that occurs before the trial begins. As I understand it, in the U.S. the prosecution must provide the defense with all evidence it intends to present at the trial long before the trial begins. This gives the defense the opportunity to examine the evidence and to prepare a defense based on it. In unusual circumstances, such as evidence that comes to light during the trial, the prosecution may introduce new evidence but must share it with the defense.

    I am by no means a lawyer.

    [edit] I found this legal definition of discovery:


    Part of the pre-trial litigation process during which each party requests relevant information and documents from the other side in an attempt to "discover" pertinent facts. Generally discovery devices include depositions, interogatories, requests for admissions, document production requests and requests for inspection.

    The formal procedures used by parties to a lawsuit to obtain information before a trial is called discovery. Discovery helps a party find out the other side's version of the facts, what witnesses know, and other evidence.
    < Previous | Next >