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Main Dictionary D

Deposition

A deposition is a sworn statement obtained predominantly from a key witness before the trial and outside the courtroom, but in some cases a plaintiff and defendant can also testify. This part of a process can be essential to the outcome of a trial.

Deposition basics

The discovery process is beneficial for both sides involved in the litigation, as it discloses facts and clarifies the position of the other side. A deposition is a chance to understand the case better.

Besides, this hearing allows reducing the risk of any unwanted surprises within the court process and choosing the most effective legal strategy. 

A positive moment of deposition is that testimonies can be obtained and recorded from a witness immediately after the crime, that will not allow information to be lost since the trial can only be started in a few months. Therefore, the purpose of a deposition is to find out what the witness knows and to preserve this information. 

How does a Deposition work

A deponent is a person testifying in a court. But sometimes all parties can be involved into the deposition process of any particular case. Lawyers for both parties ask the witness questions related to the case. 

At that time, the court officer registers them and deponent’s answers in detail through recording, and then prepares a transcript that will be used in court later. It should be noted that false statements are punishable by law, and the punishment can vary from a fine to imprisonment. 

The length of each session depends on a number of the plaintiff’s attorney questions and the deponent’s responses, that is why there are different terms of a deposition. In some cases, the session can be short, for example, 20 minutes, but in others it can take to 7 hours (it is a maximum for a day, which contained in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure).

Deposition questions 

Since a deposition affects the outcome of the entire court case, lawyers carefully prepare their clients for this procedure. They also give recommendations to the witness on how to correctly answer incoming questions, and where it is necessary to give the minimum information. Deposition questions that are addressed to the deponent can be sharp and unpleasant for him, but it really helps to prepare for a hearing in the court.

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