Understanding the Nature of a Deposition
The filing of a lawsuit sets off a period of evidential exploration by both parties in a lawsuit. In this article, we take a look at one of the tactics that is used to gather testimony from the parties and witnesses – the deposition.
The average lawsuit starts off with the filing of Slot Depo 20rb a complaint by the suing party. The defendant in the case then either contests certain technical aspects of the complaint or files what is known as an answer. Once an answer is eventually on file, the parties are charged with the task of pursuing evidence that can be used to prove or disprove the assertions being made. This period is known as “discovery” in most states.
The deposition is one of the primary methods of conducting discovery. The “depo” involves taking evidence from witnesses and parties in the form of oral testimony. The lawyers in the case will ask the person being deposed questions. The person is under oath and answers the questions under penalty of perjury. A court report attends the deposition and takes down everything that is said.
A deposition can be an odd experience if you are the person being questioned. In most states, the depo is treated as though it is happening in court, but there is no judge to rule on objections by the lawyers. As a result, the lawyers must “preserve” their objections for the record. This leads to the strange scenario where one lawyer asks you a question, a second lawyer objects to the question and then you must go ahead and answer anyway.
What about the defendant’s right to not testify against themselves? We see this all the time in movies and television shows. Alas, the right only applies in criminal cases. A civil case does not involve jail time, just generally whether one party should compensate another. As a result, the defendant must testify in a deposition and at court should the suing party request it.
Depositions are an important part of the discovery process. They nail down the stories of the parties and witnesses involved so that nobody “remembers differently” later at trial.