What is a Deposition?
Essentially, the deposition is an important part of the investigative process in a lawsuit. A deposition, in its simplest form, is the taking of sworn testimony before trial. Depositions are not limited solely to those who are named in a lawsuit and may be required for any potential witness. Lawyers may take a deposition to see what a witness knows, to back up the testimony of another witness, or to potentially point out inconsistencies in someone’s testimony. If you’ve been called for a deposition, you’ll want to speak to an attorney who can help you prepare for when the day comes.
How Do I Prepare for a Deposition?
Any successful deposition requires a solid amount of preparation and a fundamental understanding of the case. The real key to being prepared, however, is to let your lawyer do the preparation and advise you on what preparation you should do. When strategizing with your lawyer, you will be advised on the key points they intend to highlight in your deposition. Your attorney may plan to do this through direct or cross-examination. Maintaining your key points will not only keep you focused on the questions in front of you, but they will also serve your attorney as they address these key points.
Do I Need to Give Detailed Answers?
Every attorney will have a different strategy when it comes to questioning a witness. That said, one of the most common strategies is to take advantage of the silence after a witness provides an answer. Many lawyers will give a long pause after you finish answering their question because they know people get uncomfortable with silence. Often, individuals will start talking more and offering new information just to fill the silence. Don’t do this. There’s a reason you have an attorney. Simply respond to their questions with “yes” or “no” without providing any more unnecessary information. For example, if you’re asked, “do you know what color your tie is” simply reply with “yes,” rather than describing the tie in detail and telling the opposing counsel where you bought it. Your personal injury attorney will work with you to prepare for any questions that may come your way.
Should I Always Listen to My Attorney?
While lawyers have broad discretion when it comes to questions they can ask a witness, the opposing counsel will often make objections. If your attorney objects to something asked of you, stop talking and wait to see if your lawyer instructs you to remain silent on that question or continue to answer. Always listen to your legal counsel. All in all, you want to be honest in your answers and follow the advice of your attorney to ensure a successful deposition. If you have a legal issue you need help with, we would love to share our knowledge and experience with you and your loved ones.