Phoenix Lawyers / Definition of Deposition

Definition of Deposition

Do you have questions about the definition of deposition? Watch this video, then call Smith & Green Attorneys at Law today.

Question:

What is a deposition?

Answer:

Definition of Deposition Sometimes getting that deposition notice can feel like you’re almost being summoned to testify in court. Frankly, it is similar. The difference is there’s no judge at a deposition. It’s the two parties and their attorneys. If the judge needs to be called because there’s some type of dispute about a question or something like that, the judge can be called. Very rarely does that happen because judges don’t like to be called in the middle of depositions. They figure two licensed attorneys should be able to work these issues out on their own.

A deposition is basically a setting where the lawyer, the deposing attorney, sits with the deponent and they can ask questions relative to the case. There’s a difference between lay witness depositions and expert depositions. Experts are ones that are giving opinions about a matter; lay witnesses are those that are testifying about the facts. The court reporter is there. You get sworn in, just like you would in a trial. You have to tell the truth. You’ve got to tell the truth. Then there’s a litany of questions that are asked.

Nowadays, because of some of the issues that we’re facing societally, they offer a lot of virtual depositions or the depositions can be video recorded. So, a deposition can be virtual, where folks are in different places. There are still in-person depositions that are happening. One of the key things that you must remember about a deposition is it’s deposed; it’s to get to the truth. You have to tell the truth. You’re sworn in. If you tell a lie, it’s the same as being under the penalty of perjury.

Here at our office, we do deposition prep with our clients. We go over their case file with them, the notes with them, especially if the other party is doing the deposition, so that they know what to say, what to answer. You have to answer the questions truthfully. We could object, but I’m limited in my objections. You still have to answer the question, unless I specifically say, “Don’t answer the question because the matter is privileged.”

There’s a whole deposition preparation thing that we go through with our clients to make sure they’re ready for depositions. It’s bound to happen in the course of a civil case, particularly if you are a party here in Arizona. Parties are allowed to be deposed without the court’s intervention. If it’s a non-party, then you’d have to get a stipulation from the other side or the court to allow the person to be deposed.

You want to talk with your attorney – that’s a part of the decision being made – about who will be deposed in your case. Sometimes we don’t depose people in a case because we want that sense of they don’t know what this person is going to say when it comes to trial. That’s all litigation strategy. Talk with your lawyer. They’ll prep you for a deposition if you are the deponent, and they’ll discuss with you who needs to be deposed and the costs associated with that and how it will play into your case. Talk to your lawyer about it, and we’re sure you’ll come up with a great deposition plan that will help your case.


Have you or a loved one been involved in a criminal defense case and have questions about the definition of deposition? Contact experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorneys at Smith & Green today for a legal consultation.

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