A deposition is a commonly used legal process in United States litigation.
What is a deposition?
It consists of an interrogation made to one of the litigating parties or a witness in a judicial case; it implies the taking and written record of an oral and sworn testimony to be used in a court or for discovery purposes.
Discovery is the period of time before trial in which both parties have the right to obtain information from the other party. In this sense, anyone involved in a litigation process, for example, when facing a lawsuit for causing injuries due to a car accident, can be called to testify under oath before trial.
Where do they take place?
Depositions usually take place in court offices or the offices of the law firms involved in the case or even in the workplace or room of a witness. They must be recorded verbatim in stenographic, digital, textual and/or audiovisual form by a court reporter.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure of the United States establish the regulations for taking depositions. Likewise, the information obtained can be used to design legal strategies, reach an agreement before going to trial, or present it at trial in response to the following conditions:
- The deponent or their attorney receives a summons with the place, time, and date they must attend.
- The testimony is made under oath, taking into account that perjury is punishable by law.
- The process should not exceed 7 hours a day.
How is the process?
The party requesting the deposition will ask the deponent questions regarding the details of the incident, which an attorney may challenge; however, they must be answered regardless of the objection. Once the deposition is finished, they have 30 business days to review the transcript and correct any errors.