What exactly is a deposition? A deposition is defined as a written admission of facts by a witness, taken under oath, under the powers of a judge or other qualified authority. A deposition may be informal or formal. In informal depositions, a witness is merely asked questions under oath; he does not have to provide a statement. Certified depositions are those in which a witness has provided a written affirmation admitting the facts of a matter under inquiry, without the necessity of a verbal statement.
Exactly what is deposition can vary depending on jurisdiction, the nature of the issue involved, and the details of the case. For example, a bank reconciliation would likely be considered a depositions rather than a deposition. Also, a person filing a personal bankruptcy would probably receive little benefit from answering questions regarding his financial activities.
Depositions are often cross-examinations of a witness by another party. They are used for many reasons, including determining whether a witness is truthful, receiving damaging information about a client, gathering evidence against a person, and presenting findings to help attorneys resolve a case. Depositions may be used to: obtain witness testimony, admit errors in judgment, present evidence to prove a legal claim, introduce evidence of fraudulent activity, or make a point of fact to prove a defense. Depositions are considered part of the legal process and therefore admissible in court.
Most depositions take place before a legal process takes place. A witness may be called to testify at a pretrial conference or in an initial conference, or any time a witness is needed for clarification. Both parties can request a deposition at any point, although most require a motion to compel (a motion requesting a deposition before all parties to submit their papers to the court). Most depositions take place after a party files its complaint or its answer.
A deposition becomes important to the legal process when one party seeks damages. For example, if you as a consumer to file a complaint against your product manufacturer, and the manufacturer’s expert witnesses fail to testify as to the safety of your product, you may be able to move forward with a class action lawsuit. Likewise, if you as a landlord are sued by a tenant, expert witness identification of the landlord’s liability may help the landlord retain its property. If a witness is called to testify at a deposition, the party being called does not have to be a lawyer or law student. Anyone who isn’t a lawyer can generally be called to a deposition, provided they meet certain qualifications.
There are usually two types of depositions that lawyers will use: direct and cross-examination. A direct deposition usually refers to a conversation or meeting between a lawyer and a client, during which the lawyer asks questions directly to the witness. Cross-examinations are used when the witness is called by either side to determine their knowledge of a particular issue or to determine what an expert’s opinion is, rather than directly to the witness.
Generally speaking, what is the deposition can be described as a “testimonial” examination. Testimonials are often the only form of evidence offered in a legal case. When a person signs a witness statement, it must be entirely accurate and sworn to under penalty of perjury. Otherwise, it may not be admissible in court. Additionally, any statements about a specific person, place, or thing cannot be considered as true, because they were hearsay statements. For example, if a person tells you about an event that actually happened, but you later learn that the witness misheard the words, it may not be admissible.
Generally speaking, what is the deposition is often a part of any legal process. Generally, depositions are used in civil and criminal cases, where a party is trying to prove its innocence, in order to avoid a trial. depositions are also frequently an important part of administrative law suits, such as in cases involving workers’ compensation claims. Generally, depositions are considered as just one method that a party may use to reach an agreement, rather than an absolute necessary part of the legal process.