If your personal injury case does not settle it is likely that you are going to trial. As part of the pre-trial process is the discovery process. During this process there is what is called a deposition. This article and subsequent ones will discuss depositions as part of the pre-trial process of discovery – location and questions.
A deposition is a question-and-answer session that is used to gather information about the case. It allows parties to the case to find out the likely evidence that will be used by the either side.
Deposition Location and Questions
When scheduling a deposition both the plaintiff and the defendant in the case must give reasonable notice to all parties. This is in harmony with the local court rules. However, the deposition can be carried out at pretty much any location. Most attorneys hold depositions at the offices of the law firms or at a court reporters office. As mentioned previously, a court reporter must be present for a deposition so as to record it. It must be noted that the person who schedules the deposition often pays for the court reporter’s costs. Such costs include travel cost, car rental costs, if any, etc.
Like what is done during a trial, one lawyer begins asking questions. And the others will have a chance to ask follow-up questions. During questioning, opposing attorneys can object to certain questions and subject matter. However, the difference between a deposition and trial is that there is no judge to rule immediately on objections. So, the objection is noted on the record but the questioning continues. It must be noted that the person being deposed can only be instructed to not answer questions in limited situations. The person being deposed is known as the deponent.
Questions asked by most lawyers are broad questions that allow the deponent to give a very long answer.