Tort Terms


Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Deposition

Brien Roche

In most jurisdictions either party has the right in a civil case to take the deposition of the other party. In addition this applies to witnesses. This applies to personal injury as well as all other civil matters. A deposition is simply a statement given under oath in response to questioning by an attorney. Depositions are normally conducted in the office of one of the attorneys. A verbatim transcript is taken by a court reporter.

Deposition Objections

During the course of a deposition there is no judge present to rule on objections. Attorneys may make objections during the deposition. The general rule is that the only objections that need to be stated on the record are those that go to the form of the question. These types of objections relate to defects in the way the question is worded. These can be cured by the other attorney simply by rewording the question.

Depositions in general are used to discover what parties and witnesses know. Learning what they know about the facts allows the attorneys to streamline their case for trial. Some courts limit the number of depositions that may be taken by either side. This is to prevent one party from abusing the process.

Deposition Uses

Some courts also impose limits on the length of depositions. That limit may be six or seven hours. Depositions can become very contentious. If that is the case then you may need to seek the involvement of a local judge by phone. This is a way to get a ruling on the objections of one party or the behavior of one attorney.

Once a deposition has been taken then it may be used at trial under certain circumstances. If used at trial it may be read to the jury/judge. It may be shown by video. In addition it may be used to contradict the witness if the witness gives contrary testimony at trial.

For more info on personal injury and related matters see the other pages on this site.
In addition for more info about depositions see the pages on Wikipedia.

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