Kristin Vana
January 10, 2023

What is a deposition?

Introduction to Depositions in Civil Lawsuits

A deposition is an opportunity for parties in a civil lawsuit to obtain testimony from a witness under oath before a trial begins. The person being deposed will sit with a court reporter while someone asks them questions.

The Role of Attorneys in Depositions

Typically, it is the attorney for the other side who is asking the questions. It usually comes after written discovery, so you have a basic idea of the facts of the case, but the deposition is where you can ask more in-depth questions.

Duration and Scope of a Deposition

A deposition usually lasts anywhere from two hours to a couple of days. This depends on the difficulty of the case. Every party in the litigation can use depositions. They can depose the other party, they can subpoena witnesses that they think are going to be relevant and depose them too. 

Strategies for Effective Depositions

Preparing for a deposition is crucial for its success. This includes understanding the case details, preparing the witness, and formulating strategic questions. The effectiveness of a deposition can significantly influence the direction of a civil lawsuit. Attorneys often use this opportunity to gauge the strength of the opposing party's case and to gather essential information that can be pivotal in trial strategy. It's important to approach depositions methodically, ensuring that every question serves a purpose and contributes to building a strong case.