Washington Law Review


The purpose of this article is to review the developments in Washington under the discovery rules and to point up particularly some of the more common problem areas. This is appropriate not only because of the passage of time and accumulation of experience under the rules, but also because of the recent adoption of new federal discovery rules on July 1, 1970. The new federal rules are intended to remedy defects and clarify ambiguities existing under the 1938 federal discovery rules, the ones now basically controlling in Washington. One may anticipate growing discussion and eventual promulgation of part or all of the new federal rules in Washington in accord with Washington's general tendency to adopt the federal rules. This article will discuss some of the more important provisions of the new federal rules and the way in which their adoption and implementation would affect present Washington discovery practice and procedure. The discussion in this article relates to discovery in civil cases. It was decided soon after the promulgation of the present discovery rules that they applied only to civil procedure. Discovery in criminal cases, rather than being governed by any particular set of rules, is a matter deemed to rest peculiarly in the discretion of the trial court. While the trend seems to be in the direction of more liberal allowances of pretrial discovery in criminal cases, such discovery has not yet reached the limits provided under modem civil discovery rules

First Page