Depositions are an important part of the legal process and can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. In order to ensure that you are fully prepared, it is essential that you understand what a deposition is and how to prepare. Here at Downs Law, we have a list of tips to help our clients get ready for their deposition.
First things first! What is a deposition? A deposition is a question-and-answer session under oath that is conducted outside of the courtroom (i.e., there is no judge or jury present). The purpose of a deposition is for the opposing attorney to gather information about your side of the case. They will also use the deposition to assess your credibility and gather evidence that may be used in court.
So, how should you prepare? Below are our tips on how best to prepare for your deposition.
Review the relevant documents: Before your deposition, you should review all the relevant documents that pertain to your case, including contracts, emails, and any other correspondence that may be relevant. This is to refresh your memory, as often you will be asked questions about things that happened months and even years prior.
Understand the rules of the deposition: Your only job is to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your ability. You may not know the answer to everything that’s asked and that’s okay. “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer if it’s the truth. Listen to the question and answer only what’s being asked. The more extraneous information you provide the longer the deposition will likely last.
Prepare for potential questions: Your attorney can provide you with a list of potential questions that you may be asked during the deposition. It is important that you take the time to prepare for these questions and to think about your responses beforehand. During the deposition, we always advise you to repeat the question to yourself before answering.
Remain calm and composed: During the deposition, it’s important to remain calm and composed. Avoid becoming defensive or argumentative, even if you feel that a question is unfair or unreasonable. Your attorney will be there to object or to suspend the deposition if the other attorney is acting improperly. Instead, focus on answering the question truthfully and to the best of your ability.
In the case of an online deposition: Make sure you still follow all of the rules above, but also prepare to attend the deposition from a location where you have access to reliable internet and won’t be distracted by outside noises or other people. Check your internet connection, video and audio feeds to make sure all is well before the deposition so that if you need to fix any issues, you have time to do so. Also, make sure you have a large enough screen in case you are asked to review documents during the deposition.
Consult with your attorney: If you have any concerns or questions about the deposition process, it is important that you talk with your attorney. They have done this many times before and are there to provide you with guidance and support throughout the process!
Following these tips will help you be well-prepared for your deposition - but make sure you also have the right attorney on your team. At Downs Law, we have years of experience making sure our clients are well prepared and represented not only at depositions but throughout the legal process. Contact us with your legal questions today. We are here to help!