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On April 30, 2014, The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) granted accreditation to the NALA Certified Paralegal program for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. The NCCA Standards were created to ensure certification programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry.  The NALA Certified Paralegal program joins an elite group of more than 120 organizations representing over 270 certification programs that have received and maintained NCCA accreditation. More information on the NCCA is available online at www.credentialingexcellence.org/NCCA

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This page summarizes the Discovery Advanced Paralegal Certification. Use the links below to review the items, register or login to the course. If you have not already registered as a user on the NALA APC web site, click "Register for the Course." If you have already registered for this or another APC course, you have already created a user account, click "Login."

Paralegals who are not seeking the Advanced Paralegal Certification credential are welcome to register and take any APC courses as advanced continuing education programs. CLE credit is available upon completion of the courses from NALA for Certified Paralegals, and from various state CLE programs.

The Discovery APC Module 13 was updated September 2010 to include e-Discovery.

Prerequisite Knowledge Learning Contract Register for the course
Fee:   $250 Members; $300 Non Members

Course Description

Discovery is the investigative stage of a case that is conducted prior to the trial. It provides parties with opportunities to verify their understanding of the facts of the case, to find out what witnesses know about the dispute, and to explore the other side’s legal theories. Well-conducted discovery allows parties to clarify the issues for trial, anticipate the opponent’s strategies, and accurately evaluate the likelihood of success at trial.

Paralegals have significant responsibility for discovery. Paralegals working in this area should be able to:
  • draft discovery requests and responses
  • gather and organize documents and materials
  • analyze documents and evidence
  • find, meet with, and interview witnesses
  • locate experts
Paralegals must also have an understanding and working knowledge of the rules of civil procedure, criminal procedure, and evidence as they relate to discovery.

Course Modules

The Advanced Paralegal Certification course on Discovery consists of successful completion of 13 modules of text, assessments, and assignments.  The modules and their objectives are as follows:
1. Overview of Discovery
A look at formal and informal discovery; types of each;  ethical consideration in discovery; the paralegal's role
2. The Litigation Process
A review of the litigation process and where discovery fits into the process; criminal litigation and evidence; civil litigation process; categories of civil wrongs and their defenses
3. Informal Discovery
Locating information from public records; working with witnesses; formation of questions; developing an investigation plan
4. Planning, Opposing and Compelling Discovery
Developing a strategy for discovery and presentation of evidence; managing requests for discovery; calendaring
5. Particular Issues in Discovery
Discovery plans and how they relate to the kind of case and facts. Includes a look at personal injury actions, property damage, defenses to damage claims; discovery in intentional torts, contract actions, actions against business entities, divorce actions, construction defect, and intellectual property actions
6. Interrogatories
Interrogatories and subject matter; drafting interrogatories; drafting objections and responses; formatting and serving; calendaring
7. Producing and Inspection of Tangible Evidence
Drafting requests; describing items; responding to requests; objections; and control of documents
8. Depositions, Part 1
Advantages and disadvantages of written and oral depositions; arranging depositions; notices; subpoenas; fees; preparing for the deposition; and out of state depositions
9. Depositions, Part 2
Roles of those involved in depositions; post deposition tasks including summarizing depositions and types of summaries
10. Requests for Admissions
Description and categories of requests for admissions; responding to requests; types of responses; timing; coordinating requests for admissions with other discovery tools; protection from responding
11. Mental and Physical Examinations
Description; sources of medical records; medical terminology; medical personnel; paralegal's role in the medical examination
12. Expert Discovery
Review of issues related to expert discovery; expert's opinion; qualification; approaches to expert discovery; working with an expert; locating and investigating an expert
13. e-Discovery Update
Focuses on current trends in electronic discovery