What is a deposition?

Your deposition is permitted as part of the discovery process. This means that you will be placed under oath and an opposing lawyer will ask you questions about this lawsuit. A court reporter will make a record of the questions asked and your answers. This record is later transcribed to written form. In some instances, your deposition may be recorded on videotape for use in the courtroom. Your attorney will be present at all times during this deposition. There will be no judge present. Once the court reporter has transcribed the questions and answers given, a copy is provided to your attorney and to the opposing lawyer. Your attorney will notify you when the transcript is available, and you will have an opportunity to review your responses and make corrections to the transcript. Usually, after you have had an opportunity to review the transcript, the court reporter files the original transcript with the court. If your case goes to trial, your deposition will probably be used in court, especially in cross examination by the opposing lawyer. For example, if your testimony at trial is different from the testimony that you gave at your deposition, the opposing lawyer may attempt to use this difference to show that you are not a reliable or truthful witness.

Why is my deposition being taken?

1. The opposing lawyer wants to find out the facts you know regarding the issues in the case. He or she wants to know, in advance, what your story is going to be at trial.

2. The opposing lawyer wants to pin you down to a specific story now so that you will have to tell the same story at trial.

3. The opposing lawyer hopes to catch you in a lie or an inconsistency, to show that you are not a truthful or reliable person. He or she would try to show at trial that your testimony should not be believed, especially on the crucial points.

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