A deposition is a commonly used discovery device in many divorce cases. Many people are nervous or even afraid of being deposed. Follow these nine tips to help relieve some of the anxiety surrounding a deposition.
A deposition calls for a witness (often, but not always, one of the parties) to give oral testimony under oath before trial. Depositions are conducted in front of a court reporter and are then reduced to a transcript. Transcripts are often admitted into evidence at trial, where they may be used to either strengthen or dispute the testimony offered.
As a family law attorney, I use depositions for three purposes:
Discover relevant information.
Observe the demeanor, poise, and memory of the deponent (the person being deposed).
A deposition is a tool that lawyers use to get information from witnesses or from the other side. It’s one of the most effective tools the lawyers have, both to find out what has really gone on and to discover what kind of a witness their client and the other side will be. It’s a formal procedure through which every word spoken is taken down by a court stenographer and can be used at a hearing or at a trial. Depositions can be taken over the telephone, out of state and via video as well as at your attorney’s office. Depositions are expensive, they require a lot of legal preparation as well as the time questioning the witness.
It is a part of the divorce process that needs to be taken seriously, but which can be made less stressful by the tips my talented colleague Ron Barriere will be posting next.