Richardson Hearing Law and Legal Definition

A Richardson hearing is a hearing to conduct an inquiry into the surrounding facts and circumstances of an alleged discovery violation. For example, a Richardson hearing might be requested because the opposing party attempts to call a witness not included on their witness list. The court will attempt to determine whether discovery violations are inadvertent or willful, trivial or substantial, or affected the defendant's ability to properly prepare for his\her case. The question of prejudice does not depend on whether the undisclosed evidence might have affected the outcome of the trial, but whether the violation affected the defendant's ability to prepare.