How Should I Prepare for a Deposition?
Personal Injury Lawyer
When individuals submit to oral questioning under oath in a pre-trial setting, they are being deposed. Depositions are critically important as they allow both sides involved in a lawsuit access to important information before a trial is set to begin. These interviews inform the legal strategies of both parties, allow relevant information to be submitted as evidence and ultimately help to influence the outcome of a given case. As a result, it is important to properly prepare before submitting to a deposition. Inadequate preparation may lead to a host of negative consequences both for the individual being deposed and others involved in the case at hand.
If you are preparing to be deposed, it is important to keep a few basics in mind. First, understand that you will be sworn in so that your testimony will be taken under oath. This means that if you provide inaccurate information during your deposition, you could be held accountable for committing perjury. You may also be subject to such liability under certain circumstances if the information you provide is intentionally misleading or incomplete.
Second, understand that every word you say will be recorded by a court reporter. You will therefore not have to worry about your words being misrepresented later on. But because every word you speak will be recorded (and possibly referenced by one or both sides and possibly reviewed by a judge and/or jury) it is important to speak with focus, intention and clarity. The ways in which you communicate under oath have consequences, so choose your words carefully.
In order to tell your story effectively, you may want to consider going over it with an attorney before your formal deposition. An attorney will be able to answer any questions you may have and will let you know how to make a positive and impactful impression. An attorney will also be able to give you an idea of the kinds of questions you are likely to face so that you can think about the best way to answer them honestly and clearly.
It is also a good idea to speak with an attorney if you are concerned that your emotions may get the better of you during your testimony. Depending on the circumstances, you demeanor could matter just as much as your words. If you are concerned that you will be overwhelmed, angry, shy or will struggle with other emotional impulses which may impact the value of your testimony, an attorney may be able to give you strategies to help you cope.
Legal Preparation Is Key
If you have questions about the deposition process, having your testimony notated by a court reporter, perjury and/or how your testimony may affect the case you are associated with, please do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney. Lawyers are generally very happy to answer these kinds of questions as informed testimony benefits the legal process in any number of significant ways. Your deposition may make a marked difference in the outcome of a case. Please seek the support you need in order to best ensure that your time and efforts serve as a valuable tool towards just results.