What is a Deposition?

A deposition is a process in which a witness delivers testimony under oath, before the beginning of the trial. It is important to note, that the goal of the deposition is to direct the case to a favorable settlement or verdict. A deposition is one of the most significant means of proof in civil proceedings.

The Purpose of a Deposition

A deposition serves two main purposes that are crucial to the progress and development of legal cases. The first purpose is, of course, to determine what the witness knows, and the way in which she or he can contribute to the case. It is important that the person who is taking the deposition knows how to prepare for it to collect valuable and accurate information. The deponent's statements can have a negative or positive impact on the case, so it is essential that he or she understands the questions, and delivers precise answers.

The second purpose is to secure and keep the witness’s testimony. This can be done on paper, or through a video recording. In the first case, the deposition is preserved word-for-word by a court reporter who is present from the beginning to the end of the session. Depositions are often videotaped to preserve visual cues of a witness while they testify.

The Process of a Deposition

An essential fact about depositions is that they do not take place in a courtroom. Typically, the deposition will be taken in the office of an attorney who has requested it. The deponent’s objective is to answer the questions asked by the attorney. However, he or she should be careful and consider the truthfulness and accuracy of the answers. There are consequences for delivering false statements under oath. There is nothing wrong with taking your time in order to construct the best possible response. Additionally, remember that a deposition is a serious event, and any sort of jokes should be avoided. Volunteering to contribute extra information might not be beneficial either. It is best to remain cautious, reasonable, and calm.

In more complex and serious cases, the deponent might want to consider bringing his or her own attorney to the deposition. It is often a good decision to prepare for the deposition with a lawyer beforehand. Understanding the purpose and process of the deposition could make the process easier for the deponent.

What Happens After?

If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you must go to court and testify, make sure that you deliver the same statements as you did during the deposition. It is fine to give some additional information that you remembered after being deposed if it is relevant to the case. Additionally, if you come across an incorrect or imprecise statement from your own deposition, you will have an opportunity to clarify what you were attempting to say.

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