Discovery is the procurement and exchange of documents and information in a case, so that both parties have an accurate depiction of the income, assets and other information which assists with either settlement or trial of the matter. A discovery master is sometimes appointed by the Court in certain cases due to complex discovery issues. The Court’s purpose of appointing a discovery master is to conserve judicial resources and to streamline discovery issues that arise in difficult cases. Further, the appointment of a discovery master serves the purpose of preventing parties from filing numerous motions or applications with the Court on issues of discovery, thereby conserving counsel fees.
Although the discovery master’s role is advisory only, the master’s recommendations may be highly influential in some circumstances and the trial Judge will take the recommendations into consideration in making a decision on issues pertaining to discovery. Moreover, a Court has the authority to appoint a discovery master of its own volition, even if no application for one is made by either party. If your spouse is refusing to comply with discovery requests and the discovery is of a complicated nature, you should consult with your attorney on whether an application should be made to the Court to appoint a discovery master.