Maybe you have heard of a legal procedure called a deposition. This post will briefly outline what a deposition is and what to expect if you are ever deposed.
A deposition is a question and answer session with an attorney or multiple attorneys that can take the place of testimony at a trial. You may know that many, many cases that go into suit will be settled. A deposition is one of many steps that could take place preceding a trial to learn information. The deposition also substitutes for testimony at trial, so that, in some cases, a trial never has to be held.
Some people claim to want “their day in court.” Court can be inefficient, take a long time, and (in situations where lawyers are paid hourly rates) cost a lot of money. A deposition can either substitute for a court hearing or help supplement the information necessary to put forward legal briefs or strategy for hearings or trial.
In a deposition, one or more attorneys,depending on the case, will have the opportunity to ask questions of a witness. A court reporter and your attorney will also be present. The court reporter will administer on oath and record the dialogue between the witness and the attorney, and your attorney will object to questions that are inappropriate according to the legal rules of evidence.
If you are called to be a deponent (a person who is deposed), your role is fairly easy. Although, you may be nervous or intimidated by the legal process, you don’t need to be. The key is to listen to the attorney’s questions carefully and answer them directly and truthfully. That is really is all there is to it.