With the adoption of extensive pretrial discovery mechanisms, preparation for trial in the federal system underwent a dramatic alteration. Instead of relying upon pleadings to perform the tasks of notice-giving, issue formulation, and fact-revelation, the various discovery devices available under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow the parties "to obtain the fullest possible knowledge of the issues and facts before trial."' Discovery was created to promote the just, speedy, and inexpensive disposal of litigation. To this end, discovery serves to (1) facilitate the formulation and narrowing of issues; (2) protect against unfair surprise during trial; (3) detect any superflous claims and defenses; and (4) encourage and aid attempts to reach a pretrial settlement. Pre-trial discovery was designed to eliminate the "sporting" theory of litigation and to provide instead for a resolution of litigation upon the merits.