I doubt that lawyers routinely ask for text messages in discovery, but they have become important in the Kobe Bryant defense, as explained in "Bryant defense team wins access to text messages," by Charlie Brennan of the Rocky Mountain News.
In a ruling made public Thursday [6/17], Chief District Judge Terry Ruckriegle, after reviewing AT&T records that had been submitted to him under seal, ordered that they "contain material that is relevant for discovery."
That means the text records for an account belonging to Matt Herr, an ex-boyfriend of Bryant's alleged victim, will be provided to lawyers on both sides in the case.
"It's novel," said Denver criminal defense lawyer and legal analyst Scott Robinson. "It's the first time that I've ever heard of - that a text message was even considered as potentially admissible evidence in a criminal case."