August 15, 2019
There are times when a person’s testimony can be recorded outside of court and played during the actual hearing. This normally works best when a witness is in a distant location or other circumstances prevent them from appearing in court. Depositions are used in these situations to help the witness testify just as they would do by appearing in the courtroom.
A deposition is basically a witness’s sworn testimony that has been recorded in a secure environment. Depositions can be videotaped or recorded with the witness’s lawyer present. Under these circumstances, the testimony can then be used in court or other legal proceedings.
A legal deposition can take as long as needed for the witness to make their statement. However, states do put a limitation on how long a deposition can last per day, and it’s normally, seven hours per day.
Most depositions take place in a lawyer’s office. However, there are rules for where a deposition can be held if both parties agree to a secure location outside of the courthouse.
While attorneys are prohibited from leading or coaching their witnesses, it is important that they go over any questions they may have at the beginning of the deposition. Addressing their concerns and talking to them about what to expect will make the witness more comfortable and the process will be much smoother.
There are several things you should avoid during a legal deposition, which includes:
The nature of the legal deposition will determine who is required to attend. In most cases, attorneys for both parties should be present as well as the person being deposed. The number of people in attendance should be limited only to those who have a direct reason for being there.
Depositions play an important role in the legal process. They allow for a witness’ testimony to be heard even though they may not be able to attend the hearings physically. This guide will help you perform reliable depositions that can be confidently used during a court hearing or other legal process.
Colleen Jilio-Ryan is the Owner of Jilio-Ryan, a Tustin based premiere law consulting firm. The firm along with its certified court reporters is dedicated to providing the highest quality deposition and litigation services to attorneys, insurance companies, and corporations. With her sincere efforts, Colleen is committed to meeting the highest standards of the legal industry, and is an industry leader when it comes to on-time court reporting and deposition scheduling.