Work Product Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Work Product, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Work Product?

(n) During preparatory stage an attorney gathers information about the cases and legal implications of the case. He records his finding , opinions, case history of similar cases, expert views on law points, notes and reports of conversation with his clients and witness and all information collected for the purpose of the trial. These recorded documents are called as work product

History and Meaning of Work Product

The term "work product" in the legal realm refers to any documents or tangible items that an attorney or their team creates in the course of preparing for litigation, such as research notes, memoranda or witness materials. It is a term used under the rules of discovery that govern what information must be shared between opposing parties.

The concept of work product developed over time as American lawyers developed the modern practice of preparing and presenting a case. In the early U.S., lawyers did not typically engage in much pre-trial preparation or investigation, and mostly showed up in court and improvised as the trial proceeded. It wasn’t until the 20th century that lawyers began to conduct in-depth preparation and compete on the basis of which had the best preparation, strongest evidence and most persuasive arguments.

Examples of Work Product

  1. A lawyer's notes taken during witness interviews or depositions
  2. Legal research and analysis conducted by an attorney or their team
  3. Copies of case law, statutes or regulations on which the attorney relies for trial arguments
  4. Drafts of pleadings, documents or correspondence that are prepared in anticipation of litigation

Related Legal Terms

  1. Attorney-Client Privilege: The legal concept that protects certain communications between a client and their attorney from being disclosed to third parties. This applies to certain types of work product as well, as long as it was created with the client or the attorney's mental impressions in mind.
  2. Discovery: the pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit during which each party requests documents and other evidence from the other side relevant to the case.
  3. Evidence: Any form of proof presented at trial to establish the existence or non-existence of a fact or proposition. Work product is often used as evidence in trials.