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The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Depositions

The law is all about open questions. 

Depositions can last up to seven hours. Prosecution and defense teams can ask a witness questions about any topic relevant to a court case. This can include personal or work information. 

When people hear that they have a deposition, they have a lot of questions. Don’t panic. You can get the facts you need so you have a fair and safe time in court. 

Here is a quick guide. 

What Are Depositions?

Depositions are testimonies that are recorded outside the courtroom. They are part of discovery, in which lawyers gather evidence to build their cases. It occurs before a trial takes place. 

A person receives a subpoena informing that they will be deposed. The subpoena includes a time and place where they should appear. The person can request to change the time or place.

Before being asked questions, the witness is sworn in. They must affirm that they are disclosing the truth during their deposition. 

A deposition allows the prosecution and defense a fair view of the evidence. A deposition could preserve a witness testimony if it took place after an accident. Trials can take years, and witnesses may lose their recollection through time.

A judge is not present during a deposition. A court reporter records the transactions in real-time, giving the judge information about what was said.

What Questions Can an Attorney Ask? 

Attorneys begin depositions with preliminary questions. These questions encourage the witness to stay calm and honest. The common question is, “Have you had a deposition taken in the past?”

The attorney will then move into background questions. They will ask the witness to identify themselves, possibly including their social security number. They will ask about their educational and residential histories. 

They will also ask the witness about their legal history. This information may be personal, but it touches upon their credibility. They can also ask the witness questions about how you prepared for the deposition. 

What Should a Witness Say?

The witness should remain honest. Do not lie under any circumstances. Questions may involve intimate details, but lying can get them thrown in jail. 

Do not volunteer any unnecessary information—answer yes or no questions with a yes or no. Provide concrete details, but they shouldn’t exposit on any events unless they are asked to. 

Do not guess answers. If the witness is uncertain about a response, they should mention that they are uncertain. If a question confuses them, they should ask for clarification. 

Common Questions About Depositions

Depositions can be scary. Get the facts you need so you can prepare for one without worry. 

A deposition is a legal proceeding that takes place out of a courtroom. Attorneys will ask a witness questions about a matter they are related to.

This can include personal questions. The witness should answer questions honestly, but they should not provide long answers. 

Get all the resources you need for depositions. Depo International has more than 40 years of experience in providing high-quality deposition services. Contact us today online, or call our headquarters at 763-591-0535.