August 17, 2022

Some of the Most Commonly Asked Deposition Questions

By: Jilio-Ryan | Posted in: Deposition

Most commonly asked deposition questions

A deposition is a method of interviewing a witness under oath using video and audio equipment. It contains valuable testimony that can be used in a court of law. In order for a deposition to be effective, several different types of questions are asked to learn about the person being deposed and also to find out what information they have that could possibly be of value to a case being tried in court.

Let’s look at some of the most common deposition questions.

Introductory Questions

Introductory questions are used to ensure that the person being deposed knows that they are under oath, to tell the truth, and to find out if there is anything that would prevent them from being able to answer all of the questions they will be asked during the deposition. The person is also informed that if they don’t understand a question, they have the right to ask for clarification. Being able to answer these simple questions ensures that the person being deposed has a full understanding of why they are there.

Introductory questions could include:

  • Have you ever had a deposition taken?
  • Are you prepared to answer all the questions asked today?
  • Is there anything that can divert your attention while answering the questions?
  • Have you taken any medication that can alter your ability to answer these questions?
  • Will you let me know if you have any problem understanding my question or need a break?

Background Questions

The prosecutor will start to ask background questions after they wrap up the introductory questions. Background questions are used to learn as much about the person being deposed as possible. Background deposition questions examples could include:
  • Identification – Name, aliases used, age, and place of birth
  • Residential – How long have you lived at your current residence, alone or with someone, and at other residences in the past
  • Marital Status – Marital status, spouse’s place of employment, number of children, and children’s place of employment
  • Education – Schools attended and possible degrees or certifications
  • Legal – Criminal history, prior lawsuits, and previous arrests

You must always answer these questions as honestly as possible. In most cases, the attorneys already know the answers to these questions. Answering with a simple “yes” or “no” will do. You don’t have to fill in the blanks with additional information.

Some background question samples are:

  • What’s your full name?
  • Do you have any nicknames? If yes, then what are they?
  • When and where were you born?
  • What’s your current address, and how long have you lived there?
  • Are you married? If yes, then what’s your spouse’s name?

Deposition Preparation Questions

Most prosecutors would ask you if you did anything to prepare yourself for the deposition. They will want to know if anyone was with you at the attorney’s office and if you shared any information with anyone in person or online. You will also be asked if you had the opportunity to view any documents that were affiliated with the case. Always be as truthful as possible at all times.

Examples of deposition preparation questions include:

  • How did you prepare for this deposition?
  • Did you speak to anyone apart from your attorney before coming here? If so, whom and why?
  • What documents have you reviewed pertaining to the case?
  • Have you met the counsel for the opposing side before deposition?
  • Have you spoken with or signed any agreement with court reporters for this case?

Case-Specific Questions

Case-specific questions have to do with the case itself. You will be asked what you know about the case and may have to clarify portions of your testimony. Do not rush through your answers. Think carefully about your answer and always be as truthful as possible. Listen closely to each question and make sure you understand what is being asked. If you aren’t sure, ask the attorney to be more clear in how they ask the question.

How to Handle Tricky Deposition Questions

An attorney may try to get you to give your opinion about the case or what you believe happened. Avoid speculating and providing information that can’t be proven. If you are not able to speak on the entire situation, only give information on the parts that you do know. Do not try to fill in the gaps if you don’t have a clear picture of everything that happened. Stick to your truth and what you know to be the facts.

Need to Schedule a Deposition? Contact Jilio-Ryan Court Reporters

If you need help with scheduling a deposition, contact Jilio-Ryan Court Reporters today. We have secure online services that allow attorneys, legal support staff, and claims handlers an easy way of downloading deposition transcripts, exhibits, and powerful navigation tools for transcript review. Schedule A Deposition with us today, and our trained professionals will assist you through the entire process to ensure every step of your deposition is handled properly.

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