Court Depositions: What to Do and What Not to Do

Court depositions are witnesses’ sworn, out of court written or oral testimonies. They are used to gather evidence prior to the commencement of a trial. Moreover, depositions provide attorneys with vital information that they can use to predict how a case is likely to turn out. 

The impact of court depositions cannot be understated. In any case, the information obtained during the deposition state can sway the case in either direction. Essentially, the testimonies collected can influence a defendant to accept to settle, thus avoiding a trial. Here are court deposition tips that you can apply to help a case go your way.

video depositions


Witness Rules

The witness has to be issued with a notice at least ten days before the stage of deposition commences. Alternatively, the notice may be given through the form of a subpoena signed by the lawyer conducting the legal deposition. A judge’s signature is not required. 

The reason a subpoena may be necessary is if the witness does not want to attend court willingly. When the witness fails to show up for the deposition, the action is considered contempt of court. The writ, therefore, orders the witness to attend court for deposition purposes.

The lawyer may also produce copies of documents submitted during the deposition process. However, they must issue a Request for Production of Documents before they can make copies.

A good court deposition can ensure that a case does not go to trial. This is particularly true if the deposition provides clear, indisputable evidence showing both sides how a trial is likely to turn out. Considering this, the defendant is more likely to agree to settle before the case goes to court.


Tips for Deposition

A trial can take months or even years before it concludes. To avoid going through this long and protracted journey, it is always advisable to consider deposition. Here are a few tips that you can use for yourself or advise a friend or client in case you are involved in a court case, or you are being deposed.

  • Always take time to think over the questions asked before answering
  • Never answer an incomplete question. Let the lawyer finish the question before you provide your answer
  • Think before answering to allow your attorney time to raise an objection if any
  • When you do not know the answer to a particular question, answer that you don’t know
  • Do not add any new information that has not been asked
  • Avoid speculating
  • Always act formally and professionally
  • Stay as calm as possible. Do not allow your emotions to get out of control
  • Avoid getting into an argument with opposing lawyers

Enlisting an attorney to help you with court depositions can go a long way to ensure the success of your case. A qualified attorney has the necessary experience to guide you and provide specific instructions that will come in handy for a successful court deposition. Using the aforementioned tips will provide you with your best chance of resolving the case as per your desires.


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