Legal proceedings can be overwhelming at the best of times, but this is especially true when you are caught up in a legal matter for the first time. Not only do you need to prepare yourself for an undesirable outcome, but you also need to know what you are going to be experiencing while your case plays out.
One such thing that you will likely need to take part in is a deposition. This is an official line of questioning that is conducted outside the court by the opposing legal counsel involved in the case. All of the questions and answers given will be taken down and will become part of the official court documents. The answers you give have the potential to weigh heavily on the outcome of the case as a whole, so you might understandably be feeling nervous about the process.
It can be helpful to understand what you are walking into when you are facing a forthcoming deposition. Here are three of the more common questions that people generally have about being deposed.
1) Who Will Be Present?
Because a deposition is conducted outside of a courtroom, you don’t need to worry about walking into a situation where you are going to be answer questions in front of a large group of people. Rather, depending on the magnitude of the case that you are involved in, there very likely won’t be too many people present for the occasion.
Legal counsel from both sides will naturally be present, and there might be an additional witness on hand from your camp or the other. This is not a situation that merits the presence of a judge, but a court reporting company will send someone to record and transcribe the proceedings as well as administer the official oaths for you and any other witnesses.
2) Where Will It Be?
The location of your deposition will most likely be decided by the attorney conducting the questioning. For this reason, it will probably take place at the opposition’s legal offices or at those belonging to the court reporter. This is not a standard rule of thumb, though.
There have been instances where a witness is deposed at their place of employment or even at their own attorney’s law offices. No matter where your deposition takes place, you can rest assured that you will know the location ahead of time.
3) How Can I Be Prepared?
The key to having a successful experience at your deposition is preparation. You should take plenty of time well in advance to consult with your legal counsel regarding the potential answers to questions that you should and should not give.
Bear in mind that while it is impossible to know exactly what you will be asked, your attorney should be able to give you a good idea about the things that might come up. Moreover, there are some common questions that are asked at most depositions that you can prepare for by practicing.
There you have it: the answers to three common questions about being deposed.