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What is a Deposition and How to Take a Deposition

October 27, 2023

No matter how often you see court cases on TV, they will always leave out a few of the most important details, and depositions are often one of them. What is a deposition? How do you take a deposition? Here is what you need to know from the Charleston West Virginia personal injury attorneys at Salango Law, PLLC.

What Is a Deposition?

A deposition is a serious process. It is a part of the legal discovery process, in which information is gathered by all those who play a role in the case. It enables the opposing counsel (the attorney for the other party) to ask questions to a person who may have valuable information related to the case. The witness is sworn to tell the truth in a deposition.

Depositions are a part of the discovery process, where a formal investigation takes place to gather evidence and data for the trial. This information can then be used later to formulate decisions or provide testimony in court.

In some situations, the information learned within a deposition can be used by the other side to agree to a settlement. This information can be used to shape a case, too.

How to Take a Deposition

No matter if you are a witness, defendant, or plaintiff in a case, you may be required to go through the deposition process. The goal is to find out what the witness knows or what they believe to have occurred. It is also done as a way to preserve the testimony of a person so that it can be referred to later in the process.

Most of the time, they occur within an attorney’s office or conference room. There are no judges present, though a court reporter will record the conversation. The witness is sworn in and takes an oath to tell the truth. The attorney then asks the witness questions related to the law in some way. You should have your attorney with you during this process to help you avoid answering questions you should not or do not have to answer.

The length of this process is dependent on the complexity of the case and all witnesses within it. Generally, the witnesses must provide accurate and thorough information, but a judge can later rule that some of that information is not admissible if deemed to be excessive or inaccurate. Most of the time, these take a matter of minutes, but some can take several hours to complete.

Having Your Attorney by Your Side Is Critical

Understanding what a deposition is and how to take a deposition is important. Still, there is nothing that replaces the value of having your attorney by your side throughout this process. We encourage you to contact our legal team if you are facing a deposition, even if you are not one of the main parties involved in the case. Doing so protects your rights. Call Salango Law now for a free consultation to discuss your case. We are here to answer your questions for you. Call now.