Definition of Discovery
Discovery is the legal method used to gather information from both parties during a legal proceeding. Discovery has five parts including disclosure, interrogatories, admissions of facts, request for production and depositions. During discovery the courts will allow the request of information which is "reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence".
Consider also that discovery may include information which may eventually be found inadmissible in court such as the information about the personal lives of the defendant or the plaintiff. The general scope of discovery includes information about the parties regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense?including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matter.
Most courts will not allow the trial date to be set until both the prosecution and defendant have completed discovery. Discovery can take months due to the schedules of the parties, delays for providing answers, and the number of parties involved.