Key Deposition Pointers
A discovery deposition is the oral testimony of a witness taken down under oath and typed in a booklet format. Depositions are often taken in personal injury cases seeking money damages. Your attitude, truthfulness and appearance at the deposition can either help or hurt you.
The Purpose of a Deposition.The purpose of the deposition is to find out all the facts that the witness may have knowledge of pertaining to the subject incident. Disclosure of these facts will assist the attorneys in preparation and trial of the lawsuit.
Your Physical Appearance.Please remember that usually the first opportunity opposing counsel has to see you comes at the time of the deposition. It is important that you make a good impression upon opposing counsel and his client. You should appear at the deposition dressed exactly as you would expect to dress if you were actually going to Court to appear before a jury.
How to Act When Giving Your Testimony.a. Tell the truth; b. Never lose your temper; c. Do not be afraid of the opposing attorney; d. Speak slowly, clearly and confidently; e. If you don't understand the question, ask that it be explained; f. Stick to the facts; testify only to that which you have personal knowledge of; g. Do not magnify your injuries or losses. Adopt an unexaggerated attitude toward your injuries but describe your injuries as fully as you are able.
You do not have to know all things.Testify only to "basic facts". Do not attempt to give opinions or estimates of time and distance unless you have good reason of knowing such matters. If you do not know the answer to a question, it is okay to say "I don't know". Do not think you should have an answer for every question asked. You cannot know all the facts and you only hurt yourself if you attempt to testify to facts that you do not know. Do not try to memorize your story. Rather just tell the truth and your story will come out. Justice only requires that you tell your story to best of your ability. If you are earnest, fair and honest during your deposition you will be taking great strides toward a successful resolution of your case.