practice, evidence. To destroy or impair the credibility of a person; to impeach; to lessen the degree of credit to be accorded to a witness or document, as by impugning the veracity of the one or the genuineness of the other; to disparage or weaken the reliance upon the testimony of a witness, or upon documentary evidence, by any means whatever. To deprive one of credit or confidence. 2. In general, a party may discredit a witness called by the opposite party, who testifies against him, by proving that his character is such as not to entitle him to credit or confidence, or any other fact which shows he is not, entitled to belief. It is clearly settled, also, that the party voluntarily calling a witness, cannot afterwards impeach his character for truth and veracity. But if a party calls a witness, who turns out unfavorable, he may call another to prove the same point.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
In a general sense, the ascertainment of that which was previously unknown; the disclosure or coming to light of what was previously hidden; the acquisition of notice or knowledge of given acts or facts; as, in regard to the “discovery” of fraud affecting the running of the statute of limitations, or the granting of a new trial for newly “discovered” evidence. In international law. As the foundation for a claim of national ownership or sovereignty, discovery is the finding of a country, continent or island previously unknown, or previously known only to its uncivilized inhabitants.
In patent law. The finding out some substance, mechanical device, improvement, or application, not previously known.
Discovery, as used in the patent laws, depends upon invention. Every invention may, in a certain sense, embrace more or less of discovery, for it must always include something that is new; but it by no means follows that every discovery is an invention.
In practice. The disclosure by the defendant of facts, titles, documents, or other things which are in his exclusive knowledge or possession, and which are necessary to the party seeking the discovery as a part of a cause or action pending or to be brought in another court, or as evidence of his rights or o title in such proceeding. Also used of the disclosure by a bankrupt of his property for the benefit of creditors.
In mining law. As the basis of the right to locate a mining claim upon the public domain, discovery means the finding of mineralized rock in place. Discovery, bill of. In equity pleading. A bill for the discovery of facts resting in the knowledge of the defendant, or of deeds or writings, or other things In his custody or power; but seeking no relief in consequence of the discovery, though it may pray for a stay of proceedings at law till the discovery is made.