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What goes on during a deposition?

A deposition is an integral part of most criminal and civil legal cases (but for the purposes of this article we will focus primarily on civil cases).  During a deposition, an attorney will take testimony from a party involved in the case.  This could be one of the litigants in the case, or a witness who is crucial to the case.

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A deposition is an integral part of most criminal and civil legal cases (but for the purposes of this article we will focus primarily on civil cases).  During a deposition, an attorney will take testimony from a party involved in the case.  This could be one of the litigants in the case, or a witness who is crucial to the case.

Evidence can also be a part of the deposition.  The individual being deposed may bring papers or other documents and evidence with them to the deposition.  The attorney may then ask the individual questions about this evidence – which is also entered into the record during the deposition.

There are two primary purposes for a deposition:

1)      The deposed individual is giving the testimony because it is not required that they appear in court, or they will be unable to appear.

2)      The attorneys are using the deposition as a discovery in order to obtain more information that will be used in their case.  In this instance, the individual may be called to testify during the trial, at which time their live testimony will be checked against the statements they made during the deposition.

Juries and judges are not present during a deposition, but in a small number of cases, judges or other members of the court can be called into to help settle disputes or clarify the rule of law.  The adversarial parties may also attend the deposition in order to gather information about the case or confirm that everything is being handled in proper legal order.

Individuals who appear at a deposition have the right to have an attorney present with them during the proceeding.  The attorney can provide to the individual “on the fly” and lessens the chance that the individual will incriminate themselves during testimony.

The deposition is also an evaluation period for the individual who is being deposed.  Simply put, attorneys may use the opportunity to get to know the individual and determine whether or not they will be suitable to appear before a jury.  Some individuals are combative or speak without clarity – and therefore could damage a case if they were to provide live testimony.

While a deposition is taking place, a court reporter is creating a written record of everything that is being said by both the attorney and the individual who is being deposed.  The court reporter plays an integral role in the deposition.  Accuracy is of the utmost importance since the transcript of the deposition may be entered into the case as evidence during the trial.  Much like court reporting during a trial, the written record of what takes place during a deposition is kept forever and can be referenced at any time by attorneys working on similar cases or appeals.

When a deposition is complete, all involved parties will have a chance to review the transcript.  And although they are given a chance to make corrections and revisionsScience Articles, the written word created by the court reporter generally stands as law.


 

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

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