news & events

News & Events
What is a Deposition and How Does it Work?

What is a Deposition and How Does it Work?

So, you have to participate in a deposition. What is it? How does it work? Is there anything important you should know about it beforehand? These are all questions you might be asking yourself, so let’s shed some light on the subject.

What is a Deposition?

A deposition is sworn, out-of-court testimony given by a witness in a civil case. Depositions help attorneys find out what a witness knows and gather essential facts regarding the case. What is learned during a deposition can then be used at trial or during negotiations. Depositions can happen in a criminal case, but generally only to preserve witness testimony, not as a means of discovery.

How Does a Deposition Work?

At a deposition, attorneys will ask the witness questions and the witness will provide a response to each. The event will be recorded by a court reporter who will transcribe what is said and produce a transcript for the parties. Sometimes a video recording will be made of the deposition as well.
Depositions vary in length, but they can be lengthy. Because of this, there will often be periodic breaks for the parties to step out, go to the bathroom, or even have lunch. However, if the witness has been asked a question, a response must be provided before taking a break or consulting with the witness’ attorney.

What To Do During a Deposition

Be Honest: Do not lie during a deposition. You will be under oath, just like you would be in a courtroom, so lying would be considered perjury. You may not know the answer to some of the questions that you are asked. Responding with “I do not know” is acceptable in those cases.

Don’t Interrupt: Because the court reporter will have to transcribe everything later, it is important to not talk over or interrupt anyone. Overlapping conversations will be difficult for the court reporter to transcribe.

Answer Clearly: Again, the court reporter will be transcribing the deposition, so it is important to answer questions verbally. Do not nod or shake your head. It is also important to avoid answering with “uh-huh.” Respond to yes or no questions with “yes” or “no.”

Take Your Time: Your attorney might wish to object to a question or remark from the questioning attorney before you answer. This cannot be done once you have begun to answer. So, allow the questioning attorney time to complete the question, and then provide a brief pause for your attorney to consider if an objection is required before answering.

If you are going to be deposed, it is in your best interest to retain counsel for the deposition. Call us at 317-825-5110 to talk to an experienced attorney who can help you navigate through your deposition.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

Welcome To Our Blog. Looking for a specific post?