In any family law case, clients are advised by their attorneys not to talk to the other attorney, insurance companies, or investigators. That’s because the client can give out information that could make their side of the case weaker. However, in case of a deposition, your lawyer will actually give you permission to talk to the opposing attorney and answer any questions that they have to ask you related to your case. The purpose of a deposition is to allow communication that would likely lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
In most cases, deposition has to be done because the court requires it. It allows the court to know each side and to learn as much as possible about the other side before going to trial. This process is known as ‘discovery.’ The discovery process allows attorneys to analyze the settlement value of the case and it makes the settlement of the case more likely. Since there are thousands of cases that overload the court system, reaching a settlement before trial is usually favored.
What happens at a Deposition?
A deposition gives the other party’s attorney an opportunity to ask questions not only about the incident, but also ask the individual about their education, their work history, any previous injuries they may have sustained, and so on. All these questions and their answers allow the opposing attorney to learn about the person and it gives them an opportunity to talk to them before a trial. The opposing attorney will also look to see if the person is lying during the deposition and then use that against the person during the jury trial.
What should you do during the deposition?
During the deposition, you want to answer all questions asked by the opposing attorney truthfully. Never give away extra information voluntarily. Only answer what is asked. You also want to remain calm during the deposition at all times. A deposition should be treated as an interrogation by a police officer where your interests are not important. The other party’s attorney would be looking for information that can be used to harm or damage your case. The attorney of the opposing party can get you upset during the deposition and they can very well do it at trial as well. Therefore, it is important for you to stay calm and be normal during the deposition.
How to Answer Questions
Pay close attention to each question asked and make sure you understand the question. If you do not understand the question, mention that to the attorney and ask them to explain it to you before you answer it.
- Answer all questions truthfully. If you know the answer, state it, otherwise, you can say “I don’t know.” Be firm in answering, do not give a confused answer.
- Wait until the attorney finishes asking the question before answering.
- Do not attempt to anticipate the question. Never try to answer an unfinished question as it will only lead to confusion.
- Don’t let the other attorney put words in your mouth. Attorneys have a habit to mention facts and statements in a manner which may not actually be true or correct. Do not be confused by these tactics and don’t be mislead.
If during the deposition you realize that you have given an incorrect answer, stop and correct your previous answer. It is better to correct the deposition at the time it is being taken rather than later.