During a deposition, a witness gives a statement under oath by responding to an attorney’s questions. A deposition allows one side to find out what the witness knows about the case. A court reporter, like a court reporter NY trusts, records these questions to preserve the witness’ testimony.
If you are asked to participate in deposition, here are some useful tips to follow:
- Tell the truth. One of the most important things you can during a deposition is tell the truth. If you lie about anything, you could get into legal trouble.
- Do not testify about a document without reading it first. It isn’t a good idea to answer any questions about a document until you actually see it.
- Do not attempt to expand or explain the answer. Avoid providing more information than you are asked. If the examiner wants to find out more, he or she will ask another question.
- Do not offer opinions about people. Quoting conversations you’ve had with people isn’t a good idea if they are paraphrased. Also, don’t ever make ethnic derogatory statements.
- Do not think under any circumstances that the examiner is your friend. No matter how nice the examiner seems, remember that he or she isn’t your friend. This person may even try to set you up by restating testimony in a negative light and say facts that aren’t true.
- Do not answer any ambiguous or compound questions or any you do not understand or a question with two possible answers. If you don’t understand a question, don’t hesitate to speak up. Just ask the examiner to rephrase the question.
- Do not answer questions with unclear or misleading statements or those containing half truths or misstatements. If the examiner tries to get you to agree to a false statement or something you didn’t say, tell him or her that the statement isn’t true.
- Do not go beyond your true recollection. If you don’t remember a certain fact, don’t try to guess what it is. Instead, tell the examiner that you simply don’t remember.
- Do not answer any question too quickly. Before you answer any question, you should stop and analyze it in your mind. This will give you time to craft a thoughtful answer.
If you are asked to give a deposition, you may want to have a personal injury lawyer there with you. He or she can protect your rights and ensure only appropriate questions are asked.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Veritext for their insight into depositions.