Whether it is your first or fiftieth legal dispute, facing a deposition can be a daunting prospect for any individual or company representative. Becker attorney John Stratton focuses his practice on business litigation, real estate disputes, and infrastructure/land use conflicts, and removes the mystery from this integral part of legal proceedings.
Below is a brief outline of the Q&A; full details included in the video.
What is a deposition? A deposition is when a person is required to give testimony and are required, under penalty of perjury, to tell the truth.
What happens during the deposition? Lawyers will ask questions of the witness and the answers are recorded by an official court reporter. Later, the court reporter prepares a written transcript of everything that is said during the deposition.
Can depositions be recorded? A deposition can be video recorded. However, until the recent pandemic, it was less likely to occur.
What is the purpose of a deposition?
- To find out what the witness’s story is and what it will be at trial;
- To pin down the witness’ specific story so that s/he would have to tell the same story at the trial; and
- To try to catch the witness in a lie so that, later, the lawyer can convince a judge or jury that the witness isn’t truthful.
Can I refuse to answer a question? No. If you’re represented by counsel, your attorney may either object or they may assert privilege. Anything other than an assertion of privilege requires an answer.
Do I have the chance to review the transcript before it is finalized? When the deposition concludes, you’ll be asked to read and sign or waive. This is an opportunity to review your testimony and correct any inaccuracies or anything that was unclear.