During the course of a civil lawsuit for an accident, medical malpractice or even wrongful death in New York, an injured victim will be questioned during a pretrial question-and-answer session under oath. This is known as a 'deposition'. Likewise, I will have an opportunity to question the people you are suing at a later time.
You might think this is like a simple conversation where I ask a question and then expect an answer. In some respects it is.
However, the defense lawyer will object if he believes the question is not properly phrased or the subject matter has nothing to do with the case.
In New York, an attorney is required to state the basis for an objection if they believe the question is improper. In most instances, the witness must still answer the question even though their attorney believes it is not an appropriate question.
It will be the trial judge, at the time of trial, to decide whether the question is appropriate and whether the witness must answer the question.
Technically, this is known as the discovery phase of the lawsuit. Even though a question may not be technically proper, both sides will learn the answer to the question and can make strategic and tactical decisions based on those answers.
In very rare instances, the attorney has the opportunity to tell the witness not to answer question. Find out which type of question permits attorney to do this.
Watch the video to learn more...
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.