What Is a Deposition? How Does It Work?
In a personal injury lawsuit, once the complaint has been filed, the judge will typically hold a meeting to learn a little more about the case and, typically, encourage the parties to explore settlement options. If no settlement is forthcoming, the judge will also establish a “discovery” schedule, identifying the amount of time the parties have to gather evidence in preparation for trial.
One of the common ways that attorneys accumulate evidence is through depositions. What is a deposition? How is it used in a personal injury lawsuit?
What Is a Deposition?
A deposition is a meeting, usually held in the office of one of the attorneys in the case, where attorneys for all sides have an opportunity to ask questions of a particular witness, including one of the parties. The proceeding is somewhat formal, with a court reporter typically present to create a written record of all questions and answers. As a general rule, the lawyers who requested the deposition will ask their questions first. Attorneys for other parties may then generally take turns examining the witness (asking questions).
The rules of evidence still apply at a deposition, but there’s no judge present to rule on admissibility or exclusion of evidence. Accordingly, if a party objects to a question, the objection must be stated verbally and must be put into the record. In most instances, though, even though there’s an objection, the deposition continues and the witness is expected to answer the question. If the question or answer violates the rules of evidence, the parties can bring the matter to the court before trial, so that the judge can exclude the introduction of the evidence at trial. In limited situations, such as where answering fully would force a witness to disclose privileged information, the witness may choose or be instructed not to answer.
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.