Reciprocal Discovery

Definition - What does Reciprocal Discovery mean?

Reciprocal discovery is the process in which the opposing sides in a criminal case or civil lawsuit exchange information such as witness lists, police reports, official documents and other evidence that each side intends to use in a trial.

Pretrial litigation often focuses on what information opposing parties must disclose under the duties of reciprocal discovery.

Justipedia explains Reciprocal Discovery

Certain pieces of evidence must be disclosed by opposing parties through reciprocal discovery, while there are often arguments to be made why other evidence may be withheld.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the defense must turn over pretrial statements that a defense witness may have given, and that the prosecution must turn over similar statements. These pretrial statements commonly occur in criminal cases where defendants often give statements to the police while in custody.

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