Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Apr 19, 2018 in General Interest
In many cases, the plaintiff will be deposed by the defendant at some point. This is often a scary process for individuals. But it doesn't need to be. The attorneys at Harbin & Burnett spend time with our clients, explaining the process to them and preparing them for the questions that will be asked.
A deposition has several purposes. First, the deposition is an opportunity for the defendant's attorney to hear your side of the story for the first time. Second, it is an opportunity to "lock-in" your answers. if a client answers a question differently at trial, the defendant can use his deposition to impeach his testimony, calling into question the truth and honesty of the answers. Third, it can be a "fishing expedition" where the defendant tries to discover facts that can be used against the plaintiff. And fourth, the defendant is hoping to catch the plaintiff in a lie, which can be used to impeach the credibility of all of the testimony.
How long does a depostion last? A deposition can be as short as 20-30 minutes or can last an entire day or longer. In most cases, a plaintiff's deposition will last about 1-2 hours.
What is the most important thing to do at a depostion? Tell the truth.
What other things are important? It is important to understand the questions before you answer, it is important to think about your answer before speaking, it is important not to "guess" or make up answers. It is important to answer verbally and not just shake your head.
There are several other dos and dont's associated with depositions. That is why, at Harbin & Burnett, an attorney will meet with you individually to prepare you for your deposition.
Tomorrow: What are some of the questions asked at a deposition.