Real-life civil litigation bears very little resemblance to TV. There exists an entire phase of investigation, called the discovery phase, that is intended to reveal any important facts and evidence surrounding the case. Legal theories of liability reduce or eliminate the opportunity for surprises to arise. Most of the time all parties involved do their homework beforehand, it also makes for a clearer and more accurate case. Through learning the strengths and weaknesses of both sides facts and theories of liability, the chances of resolution by settlement rather than trial are also maximized. In personal injury cases, the discovery phase occurs after the case is filed. In Tulsa, the rules of court determine how discovery is conducted and what information the parties involved must disclose to the opposing counsel in the case.
Source: Art Adams