DEFINITION OF A DEPOSITION
A deposition consists of a procedure outside of court where an attorney collects information and facts from a witness in a court case. Discovery is part of this process and encompasses information that will be used in court. The findings that are made during discovery can bring about a settlement or give reason for the parties to go ahead with a trial.
The purpose of a deposition holds one of the most essential parts of the discovery process because they allow the opposing counsel to obtain important facts that may help their case.
Depositions provide opportunities for each party to gather information prior to appearing in court. The most desired witnesses typically are of the opposite party. An attorney usually performs the deposition, and a court reporter is available to transcribe the event. Depositions can also be videotaped. If the case proceeds to trial, the deposition of a witness can be used during a trial if they are not able to be present to testify in court.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM A DEPOSITION
Before a deposition, the witnesses or victims, who are also referred to as deponents during a deposition, swear an oath to answer questions honestly. A court reporter will record the complete deposition and will later transcribe the session for each party to reference as they prepare for a trial and the examination of witnesses.
The deponents are informed of rules to follow during the deposition. Deponents are instructed to provide clear, verbal responses to the questions posed.
What to Expect with a Deposition
A deposition normally happens at the office of the attorney, court reporter, or the deponent. Both defending and prosecuting attorneys, witnesses, and a court reporter are present at a deposition.
What Happens During a Deposition
Attorneys take turns questioning the deponents in what is known as a direct examination. Afterward, other attorneys present have the chance to cross-examine the witness. Either party can object to a question during the deposition. In the meantime, deponents are permitted to modify their answers in review. However, the opposing attorney will note amended answers during the examination in a trial.
Attorneys will pose questions regarding the accident or the event to thoroughly understand the witness’s perspective and recollection of the incident. The purpose of a deposition is to give the deponent to answer the questions simply, truthfully, and straightforwardly during the deposition.
Subsequent to a Deposition
Following the completion of a deposition, the court reporter processes the transcription of the session and provides documents for parties in the accident case.
Each side in the case has access to the same information from the deposition. It is not uncommon for attorneys representing both sides in the case to take advantage of particular details with respect to their legal positions. It is worth noting that the same information can be interpreted in different ways.
Depositions are invaluable when it comes to putting a case together in preparation for trial or a settlement.
ARE DEPOSITIONS ALWAYS NECESSARY?
Some cases do not require a deposition. There are other means to obtain discovery. They include:
- Requests for answers to interrogatories
- Requests for production of documents
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