What is a deposition?
A deposition is a procedure in which a witness, party, or other individual is questioned under oath outside of court. Depositions are often used in civil litigation as a means of discovery, allowing parties to gather evidence and testimony from individuals who may have relevant information about the case.
During a deposition, the witness is typically asked questions by an attorney representing one of the parties to the lawsuit. The witness’s answers are recorded by a court reporter, and a transcript of the deposition can be used as evidence in court.
Depositions are typically conducted in a conference room or lawyer’s office, rather than in a courtroom. The witness is sworn in and must provide truthful testimony under penalty of perjury.
Depositions can be an important tool for gathering information and evidence in a case. They can be used to:
- Clarify the witness’s testimony or statements.
- Explore the witness’s knowledge and experiences related to the case.
- Obtain testimony that may be used as evidence at trial.
- Impeach (challenge the credibility of) the witness’s testimony at trial.
It’s important to note that a deposition is not the same as a trial. The witness’s testimony is not being judged by a judge or jury, and the witness is not subject to cross-examination by the other party. However, the testimony given at a deposition can be used as evidence at trial if the witness’s testimony changes or is inconsistent with the deposition testimony.