A deposition is similar to a formal interview, and it is used to gain information and evidence that can be used for litigation. A specific time and place is agreed upon to conduct the deposition. Here the attorneys and clients from both sides meet, as well as a court reporter to make a record of the meeting for the court. One side’s attorney will ask you a series of questions for which you testify under oath to answer truthfully. For the most part, just about any person with knowledge of the facts of the case can be deposed. Depositions are usually held at one of the attorney’s law firm office.
As mentioned previously, the purpose of depositions is to obtain information and evidence that will help your case. The questions asked usually relate to the facts of the case and elements of the claims in the lawsuit. Often times an attorney will use questions that are broad in scope in an effort to elicit a detailed answer from the deponent. This strategy is used to gain as much information as possible from each question, instead of using specific questions that will yield a one sentence answer. It is important to keep your answers as short and concise as possible without going on a tangent. You don’t want to harm your own case by giving too much information to the deposing attorney. If you do not understand a question, you can ask the deposing attorney to ask it again and in a clear manner. If you do not remember or do not know the answer to the question, it is encouraged to be truthful. You should never guess. As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. Your attorney can take some time to prepare you for going in to a deposition, and can go over some practice questions so that you feel comfortable when the actual deposition comes. Lastly, a deposition is not intended to be an adversarial process. Therefore if you are nervous or don’t know how to answer a question, your attorney will be there to support you throughout the process. If you have further questions about the deposition process, please contact us at the Pinkerton Law Firm today.