Once a lawsuit has been filed, both sides are permitted to conduct discovery. Depositions can be one of the most valuable tools a lawyer has in his or her arsenal for conducting this type of inquiry.
Deposition is a pre-trial testimony conducted under oath and recorded.
Depositions are one method lawyers use to gather evidence about a case before going to trial. Depositions take place outside of court and usually recorded. Lawyers from both sides pose questions to witnesses who respond under oath; any objections raised must be handled during depositions since judges who will rule at trial may or may not be present at the proceedings.
Witnesses must provide answers truthfully and completely. Your attorney will work closely with you to prepare for and support during a deposition, helping prevent mistakes that could harm your case later on, such as accidentally contradicting something said previously or making guesses without solid evidence to back them up. Your lawyer can also serve as your advocate during questioning from opposing counsel; though this process could last hours.
Depositions provide both sides in a lawsuit with an opportunity to assess evidence before going to trial, and allow attorneys from each side to collect any vital pieces of evidence which might assist or harm their respective cases. Depositions are one of the primary ways of gathering this type of data.
Depositions may be requested of either parties to a lawsuit or non-parties with knowledge about it, usually taking place outside of court in a lawyer’s office and recorded by a court reporter. A person being deposed must answer questions under oath; false statements could lead to criminal and civil penalties; attorneys representing those being deposed can object, however these objections will typically only be noted and not decided upon by a judge in the same way as in a courtroom setting.
Your attorney will assist in preparing you for a deposition by acting as your adversary and asking difficult or uncomfortable questions that will test how you react under pressure. They will also ensure that any publicly available information that could compromise your testimony is reviewed prior to taking place.
Before attending their deposition, it is a wise move for your client to meet with you and go over court rules, possible questions from opposing counsel and documents that must be reviewed. Furthermore, discussing with you how best to conduct themselves during the deposition will allow your client to prepare himself appropriately.
Your client must be prepared to answer questions regarding any perceived weaknesses in their case, even if doing so means telling the truth and hurting themselves in doing so. They should understand that being truthful during a deposition is required of them.
Depositions will place your client under oath and require them to answer all questions truthfully. Depositions typically take place at an attorney’s office or conference room and are attended by everyone involved, including you, opposing counsel, court reporter (also known as stenographer), opposing attorney and court reporter/stenographer who produces a transcript later of your testimony which includes pages of shorthand that must be translated back into English before it can be used in court proceedings.
During the Deposition
Many people look forward to their deposition as an opportunity to present their side of the story, believing it will give them their day in court. Unfortunately, this expectation often turns into reality; depositions are conducted by opposing counsel who don’t care much for your story and aim to collect information against you at trial.
Depositions bring together both plaintiff and defense lawyers as well as a certified court reporter, along with any paralegals, investigators or expert witnesses hired specifically to aid in the case.
Truthfulness and completeness should always be your goal in answering questions honestly and completely. But it is also essential that if a question appears unrelated or unnecessary for your case, ask the examiner to move onto another subject matter or schedule breaks throughout your deposition as it can become long and tiresome.