What Is A Deposition?

A deposition is a serious process in the court of law that involves an examination for the discovery of evidence. It occurs through an oral statement of a witness under oath. Deposition testimonies of witnesses aren’t the same as those given in court. Both parties reserve the right to conduct discovery through a formal investigation to find out additional details about their case. The deposition is typically performed before a trial begins to help either side develop strategies using the evidence they discovered. Depositions are useful because the information all parties discover can help them decide to settle without going to trial. They may find evidence that is particularly clear about what happened, allowing all involved parties to develop a resolution. The discovery can begin through a deposition, but also can be initiated through subpoenas and interrogatories. 

A deposition takes place in an attorney’s office, not a courtroom or another secure location that keeps all information confidential. The attorney will ask that the deponent, or the witness providing the deposition, answer questions regarding events related to the lawsuit. The questions are often broader than what is typically allowed in the courtroom. The court reporter records the deposition from beginning to end, resulting in a transcription. If the deponent isn’t present for the trial due to travel or another unforeseen circumstance, they may be videotaped instead. All parties will be allowed to attend the deposition and have an attorney present. The attorneys may object to some of the questions asked to the deponent, but normally the deponent has to answer all the questions as long as they are appropriate. 

When A Deposition Is Required

Depositions aren’t always necessary, but in some situations, they are needed to help clarify particular issues within a case. For cases that only have legal issues, a deposition isn’t required. This is because the witnesses’ statements won’t influence the decision on a legal problem. In a lawsuit, the deposition is more impactful because additional statements from witnesses help support factual information. Depositions help preserve a witness’s testimony and also help reveal what a witness knows to support facts surrounding a case. Once both parties discover all of the facts regarding a case, they will be fully knowledgeable about the case details before the witness stands trial. It is considered fair for all parties to know what a witness will say during the court trial. 

Depositions can work in your favor because once you become aware of a witness’s experience, you can figure out how it fits into your case argument. If the witness’s testimony goes against your evidence or makes your case weaker, this is good to know before you begin the trial. These weak areas of your case can then be worked on with a better strategy with the help of your attorney. You can also consider having additional evidence prepared to support or form a rebuttal to the witness’s testimony.