Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How To Prepare To Give A Deposition

How to Prepare To Give A Deposition

Depositions are part of the discovery process in state and federal court litigation. At the deposition questions about issues relevant to the lawsuit are asked of a person who may or may not have critical evidence important to the lawsuit. The testimony is sworn testimony. The one being deposed may be a party, a witness or an expert. The one taking the deposition (an attorney) and the one being deposed need to be well prepared.

Step 1

Understand what will be expected at the deposition. The one giving the sworn testimony will be given a specific time and place where the deposition will take place. The deposition is usually done in one of the attorney's conference rooms. It is wise to arrive thirty minutes or an hour before the deposition to go over the testimony with your attorney. Take all documents requested by your attorney and all documents requested by the opposing attorney. Be prepared to give sworn testimony that can be used against you in court.

Step 2

Speak slowly and clearly. A court reporter will be present to record every word spoken by everyone in the room. You will be sitting next to your attorney and across from the opposing counsel. You want to make sure that you are not misquoted in the transcript. Specifically answer "yes" or "no" and do not volunteer information beyond what can effectively answer the question. An "uh-huh" can be interpreted as either a yes or a no. Do not guess at an answer. Feel free to say you are not sure.

Step 3

Familiarize yourself with all documents or records that you may be called upon to identify. Any company records, medical records or photographs to be discussed by you and admitted as exhibits in the deposition should already be in your possession and fully understood by you and your attorney. Feel free to ask for ample time to review any documents presented with which you are not familiar.

Step 4

Take time to consider your testimony. Remember that every word you say may very well be brought out by opposing counsel in the actual trial before a judge or jury. If you are consistent throughout, your testimony will appear more credible. Lying in a deposition is the same as lying in court and can be grounds for criminal perjury. It is wise to require the court reporter to furnish you and your lawyer with a copy of the deposition for you to review and sign before the deposition is filed and becomes an official legal record of your testimony.

User Bio:

David Burlison practiced law for 25 years In Tennessee and Mississippi. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, and once lived and worked in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has published numerous articles with Demand Studios, Ezine Articles, GoTo Articles and Hubpages. His publications have covered subjects dealing with law, travel and various social issues.

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