What is a Deposition?

Most people don’t know what happens in a lawsuit. They know even less about something called a “deposition.”

A deposition is a type of discovery tool that takes oral testimony under oath. It can be used to take testimony from third party witnesses or from parties themselves. The process is not unlike an interview except that it is more formal than that.

The parties and witnesses gather in a room such as a conference room. The party taking the deposition hires a person known as a court reporter to take down all the words that are said in the room. The words are then typed up in transcript form and put in a booklet. Sometimes the deposition is videotaped.

The witness answers deposition questions under oath about the nature of the lawsuit and other matters that may be relevant to the lawsuit. A deposition can be used to explore facts or can be used to establish points in the lawsuit that are favorable to one party. For example, the questions may be about the scope and nature of the claims being made in the lawsuit. Or the questions may be more about affirmative defenses that are being raised in the lawsuit. Questions can come on direct examination by the taker of the deposition or on cross examination by other parties. Depositions can be a critical part of a lawsuit and if you are called for a deposition consult us today.

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Joseph Wetch is a Fargo, ND lawyer practicing in all North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota courts. Contact him at 701-232-8957 or jwetch@serklandlaw.com.