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What is a deposition?

A deposition is one of many discovery tools available to attorneys in the court system.  They involve a deponent being asked questions concerning the case under oath by an attorney.  Exhibits can be used during the deposition and questions asked specifically concerning same.    The deponent’s attorney is permitted to make objections in very limited circumstances.

A deposition is useful in many regards for attorneys.

First, it allows attorneys to confront witnesses face-to-face for the first time with specific questions.  While the number of interrogatories are often limited in cases, the number of questions in a deposition are essentially unlimited.  Additionally, it is far easier, quicker and more efficient to ask follow-up questions during a deposition as opposed to doing the same with written discovery.  It is also very helpful to have the witness describe and identify specific exhibits.  Depositions are also very helpful in clarifying previous discovery responses filed in the case.

Secondly, a deposition allows an attorney to essentially begin determining how someone will testify and present before a jury.  Without a deposition, it is almost impossible to understand how a witness will testify when confronted with difficult facts and aggressive questioning.  If a witness is combative during a deposition, it is safe to assume they will likely testify similarly before a jury.

Lastly, depositions are very efficient at beginning to develop impeachment material for use at trial.  This is especially true when a deponent provides lengthy rambling answers; these answers can be used to confront the witness later at trial.

If you or someone you know has questions concerning an upcoming deposition, contact the Tampa trial attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free consultation.  We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate you looking over our blog.