Depositions offer the opportunity to ask questions to a witness or other party under oath. Their answers are transcribed by a court reporter. Depositions take place in an attorney’s office. Only the attorneys in the case, the witness, and a court reporter are required to be present. The parties, however, may also be present, if he or she so elects. The witness is asked questions under oath and the questions and answers are later transcribed.
Depositions give you the opportunity to have the other party or witness placed under oath and cross-examined. They can be very useful toward the ultimate resolution of a case, either by settlement or through trial.
How Depositions are Helpful
Depositions give you the opportunity to have the other party or witness placed under oath and cross-examined. The examination is subject to certain rules of evidence and may be used in trial. Apart from the solicitation of information, a deposition provides an opportunity to assess the truthfulness and the demeanor of the witness and permits an assessment of their credibility at trial, should that become necessary.
Depositions are also helpful in pinning down a witness on specific issues so that you know how they will testify regarding important facts or issues prior to going to trial. You don’t want wait until trial to learn how a witness will testify on an important issue. The information recorded during depositions can be very useful toward the ultimate resolution of a case, either by settlement or through trial.
The Cost of Depositions
Depositions can be somewhat costly. You incur the expense of your attorney for the preparation of, taking of, and the analysis of the deposition. If an expert is deposed, in addition to the attorney’s fees and deposition fees, you must pay the expert a reasonable fee for his or her time attending the deposition.
Additionally, you incur the cost of the court reporter who transcribes the deposition testimony. The fees and costs of the court reporter for a two-hour deposition are approximately $400. The court recorder transcribes the entire proceedings and prepares a deposition transcript.