LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Anamaria Frances Cousineau

What Is A Deposition?

What is a Deposition?

A deposition is simply your testimony, given under oath. The attorney for the opposing party will ask you questions, which you are required to answer. Depositions usually take place at an attorney’s office, in a conference room, with everyone sitting around a table. The attorney asking you questions will sit opposite from you. Your attorney will sit next to you, and will be with you the whole time. A court reporter will sit near one end of the table and write down all of the questions and answers. There will not be a judge or jury.

For most of the deposition, the opposing attorney will ask questions, and you will give answers. Your attorney cannot answer any questions for you. After the deposition is over, the court reporter may type out all the questions and answers, and the judge may see the transcript at some point during your case.

What Questions Will I have to Answer?

The other attorney is allowed to ask you almost anything. Certain questions that are not allowed to be asked in court can be asked during a deposition. They will probably ask you about your background, your education, your work history, and the lawsuit.

What are the Purposes of a Deposition?

  1. A deposition allows you to tell your side of the story.

  2. A deposition lets the other attorney know how you will testify and act at trial.

  3. A deposition gives the other attorney the chance to ask you questions and gather information.

  4. Your deposition testimony will help the attorneys evaluate your case for settlement purposes.

Why is a Deposition Important?

Most cases settle without going to trial, so your deposition will probably be the only time that you testify in your case. This will probably be the only time that you get to tell the other attorney your side of the story. Also, if your case does go to trial, anything you say in your deposition may be read in open court. For this reason, it is important to prepare before your deposition and handle yourself well during the deposition.

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