Fishing expedition refers to someone overly investigating or demanding information from an individual or organization. In law, the term is most used to describe using the discovery phase of a lawsuit to demand too much information based on hunches and accusations. Discovery allows parties to demand a very large amount of information from one another that can be sensitive information, and these tools could be very destructive if unchecked. Varying by jurisdiction, courts have procedures in place for parties to challenge unruly discovery requests from opposing parties.
[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]