What is a Deposition?
Like most people, you may have never before been involved in litigation. It’s understandable you’ll have questions and, perhaps, some apprehension. A deposition, or examination before trial, is a pre-trial legal procedure in a lawsuit. The attorney for one party questions the other party, or a non-party witness, under oath regarding issues relevant to the case. All questions and answers and other words spoken are recorded by a stenographer on a stenographic machine and transcribed into a written document, the ‘transcript’.
The attorney who is questioning a party or a witness attempts to learn everything he or she can about the case in an effort to support the claims being made by his or her client. The party being questioned -deposed – is accompanied by his or her own attorney to protect that party’s legal rights. Court rules require depositions to be conducted with civility. This infographic covers some general rules governing a witness’ conduct at a deposition.
A deposition is conducted before trial to assist the parties and their attorneys in settlement negotiations.
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