What is a Deposition?

You might be asking yourself, what is a deposition; and when and how are they used when you have a lawsuit?

Hi, I'm Brad Parker, the attorney you want but hope you never need and this is another edition of Bar Talk. Give me 90 seconds and I'll give you an answer.

Depositions are commonly used in any type of litigation where you want to preserve the testimony of a witness or a party to the litigation. You oftentimes use them in order to cement or get down in sworn testimony form what the testimony is going to be.  The deposition is given under oath it's not given in court but rather at usually an attorney's office and their conference room and you're sworn under oath to give clear straight, true and correct answers the penalties of perjury apply just the same as if you were in a courtroom.

Then, a deposition is used either at the time of trial and it can be read back to the jury or typically they're videotaped just as we're videotaping this and that can be played for the jury. Or on the other hand if the deponents available and you want to bring them live to trial you can and then you can use the deposition to cross-examine them in the event that their testimony is different or has changed since the time that you originally took the deposition.

In short, depositions are sworn testimony that attorneys take of witnesses and parties before the trial - to both learn what they're going to say and to use at trial either to present to the jury or to cross examine if the story changes.

I hope this has answered any questions you might have about depositions - if you have anything further just give me a call.

I'm Brad Parker the attorney you want but hope you never need and this has been another edition of Bar Talk. Until next time.

For more information about the legal process and your rights download our free book.