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What is a Deposition?

woman documents

My attorney says I need to be available for depositions. What does that mean?

A deposition is an interview under oath that takes place outside of court. That said, depositions are still part of court proceedings, so you should be available and prepared to be interviewed by the opposing counsel.

A deposition can take place anywhere - the conference room in my office, for example. A court reporter will be there to record the interview so that the court has this interview on file if either attorney requests a transcript.

This transcript can be filed with the court as evidence at a later date, so keep in mind that you are under oath, to tell the truth. If you are caught lying under oath, it is considered a felony, known as perjury.

This would be an enormous disadvantage for your case. Your attorney will be with you for the entire time. Do not say anything to the opposing counsel without your attorney present, as they work for you and can object to any questions they find are not relevant.

You should be prepared to answer any question relevant to your case unless it is between you and your attorney, in which case you should inform the interviewer about your arrangement. Again, it's important to be truthful here.

Only address the questions asked by the interviewer - don't bring anything up yourself, or bring any papers or documents unless you were specifically asked to do so.

Part of being prepared is staying aware of the court proceedings and documents regarding your case. Please read your affidavits and the paperwork your attorney filed before coming to the deposition.

This can be to your advantage, as you can then spend time with your attorney to anticipate what questions you will be asked at the deposition, and how to respond. Work with your attorney.

You should never guess at an answer. If you are asked a question that you can't answer, simply respond "I don't know." Listen to the question - if you don't understand, ask the attorney to rephrase. If your attorney objects at any point, stop testifying and then listen before you proceed.

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