Overview of Depositions
What is a deposition?
The purpose of a deposition is to find out what you, as a witness, know about the issues on the case. The information you provide helps the attorneys on both sides prepare for a trial of the lawsuit. Depositions are also used to access your credibility and demeanor before the trial. Sometimes, your testimony during a deposition may merit a settlement.
All statements you make are under oath and transcribed into written form that will later be made available as testimony during the trial.
Preparing for a deposition.
It is important to know what is expected of you rather than trying to figure it out during the deposition.
The key to performing well under a deposition is to prepare well and be prepared for the procedure. You and your attorney should always meet prior to the deposition to discuss the case and make preparations in regards to supporting documentation or other items that may be needed during the deposition. Your attorney's objectives with the deposition should be clarified. Attorneys often request documents a week before they are needed and during your preparation, these will probably be reviewed.
Sometimes, your attorney will take you through a mock question-and-answer session so you will feel less uncomfortable during the actual deposition.
The day of the Deposition.
Generally, the party setting the deposition is entitled to select the location which may be at the office of the plaintiff's attorney or, if video-taping is required, at a location providing these services.
Conservative attire is recommended. Avoid looking disheveled. If the session is to be videotaped, the tape may be played for the jury later. Your attire, attitude and body-language will be of great importance.
Be on time.
During the Deposition.
First, during the entire deposition, you always have the right to consult counsel. If at any time you are unsure of anything, it is your right and your attorney's job to provide you with assistance.
Cases have been lost when witnesses are fidgety, argumentative, appear disheveled, forget information, are arrogant or flippant, who loose their temper, joke around, change answers frequently or give inaccurate information.
If you are to attend a deposition at one of Sclafani Williams locations, we would be happy to provide you with driving instructions and information about our facilities.