What Is A Deposition?

September 17, 2010

When involved in any legal dispute, be sure you’re well prepared for your deposition.

The jury box in the Pershing County, Nevada, C...
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A deposition is a formal process in which the opposing lawyer asks you questions about the case while you’re under oath. It’s a tool for each side to gather information and evidence as they prepare their courtroom strategies.

While no judge or jury are present at a deposition, your answers are recorded by a court reporter, with a transcript being made available to all parties. Your answers will be closely scrutinized by the other side, and used to discredit you, should your testimony in court vary even slightly from your deposition.

That’s why you should be truthful while being deposed. Don’t exaggerate the facts, and if you’re unclear on a given detail, honestly state that you don’t remember. Lying during a deposition is considered perjury, which not only damages your case, but could land you in jail.

Your performance during your deposition will be evaluated on how you’re likely to be perceived by a jury. Your confidence, likability and “grace under pressure” will go a long way in determining whether your adversaries decide to go to trial or settle out of court.

And don’t worry, either your lawyer or the one representing the side you are testifying on behalf of is there to make sure you are prepared. Just be honest and you’ll do well.

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