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Why Do Lawyers Take Depositions?

Author : Christine Harrell   Top Author

Submitted : 2010-10-12 02:19:58    Word Count : 440    Popularity:   7

Tags:   court reporter, legal depositions

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In civil lawsuits, people frequently have their depositions taken. A deposition is a question and answer session under oath between a witness and at least one attorney. When the witness is testifying on behalf of one party, either the plaintiff or the defendant, the opposing party's attorney will do most of the questioning. Usually, the lawyers for all parties are in the room, although not all of the attorneys present choose to ask questions. There is usually a court reporter present taking down what everyone says on a stenotype machine. There are many reasons for lawyers to take legal depositions. Here are just a few.

Rules
The most prominent reason someone has to give a deposition is because a lawyer is not allowed to simply call up a witness for the other side and start asking questions. In fact, they are not allowed to speak to them about the case when that person has been designated as a witness for another party. Instead, it must be done in a formal setting. The witness is usually subpoenaed and the lawyer that has designated that person as a witness will usually be present.

Information
When an attorney believes someone has information that will lead to discoverable evidence in a civil case, they are allowed to take their deposition. The witness is required by law to cooperate and answer fully and honestly any of the proper questions asked by the lawyers. Oftentimes, the lawyer may not know all of the important facts of the case. There may be people, objective third parties, who witnessed a car accident or that have factual information that is crucial to the case. Learning what they know about it may shed light on the case before it goes to court. This prevents one side from springing surprises on the other during trial.

Intimidation
On rare occasions, an attorney will take the deposition of a witness for the other side to intimidate or make the person nervous. This is more common in domestic dispute matters, such as child custody or divorce cases. It also happens more often to the plaintiff, the party bringing the lawsuit. This is sometimes done to make sure the witness knows the lawyer means business. Playing hardball in a deposition is what happens when the attorney is purposefully trying to make the witness uncomfortable. This may be done to make sure they tell the truth and to find out if the person will drop the case, rather than have to go through similar questioning in court, as well if the case goes to trial.

Author's Resource Box

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about legal depositions, please visit http://www.huseby.com/.

Article Source:
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