When you are a party in civil litigation (you are suing or being sued), it is common to receive a subpoena for your deposition. This means your opponent is on a “fishing expedition” to find out everything you know about the issues involved in the case. This process is done before a court reporter and you are asked all sorts of questions. Depositions are different than testimony at trial since the opposing counsel can ask a much broader scope of questions at a deposition if they might lead to admissible evidence.1 Keep in mind that your deposition testimony can significantly ...
October 3, 2018CD
Depositions are a way of gathering information about a case that actually involves your active participation with the attorneys. Most other forms of discovery are just through mail or electronic without both (or several) attorneys or a court reporter (who takes the deposition). A deposition is unique in nature because it allows questions to be asked of you and questions on responses that you cannot prepare for in advance. This blog covers five things you should know before you are deposed. Having this information in advance will allow you to provide more accurate or complete answers, advancing your case. Alternatively, it ...
February 8, 2018CD
One of the key ways to obtain information in litigation is by depositions. In the most common scenario, these are depositions of the parties. Essentially, a court reporter and the attorneys and the litigants meet at one of the attorney’s offices or the office of the court reporter, the witness/party is sworn under oath, and questions are asked by the deposing attorney. There are many aspects of depositions. This blog explores the five common mistakes in answering and the proper ways to answer deposition questions. Personal knowledge. In everyday life, we all answer questions in normal human discourse by stating as ...
November 16, 2017CD
Depositions are one of several tools available to parties to obtain information from the opposing party to prepare for trial. When a deposition is set, it is sometimes a great source of stress for the deponent. In fact, most depositions are straight forward. This blog covers some key aspects of depositions to aid readers in understanding the process and to be a better deponent. At the outset of each deposition, a court reporter who will swear the deponent and record word-for-word his or her statement has everyone in the deposition introduce themselves for identification purposes. This is usually followed by the ...
January 19, 2017Adam Hayes
For mostly technological reasons, major life events from global meetings to face-time chats with friends across the land occur in more or less real time. The new mass of information is digital and not paper. The old days of putting the paper mortgage documents and financial statements in a single place—forever—are long gone. So are the days of digital information being kept in one place—except for the most vigilant. This means that with any litigation, from a protective order to divorce, a swipe of a screen or click of a mouse may reflect some significant event that is relevant to litigation. ...
August 12, 2015Adam Hayes
Depositions of parties and third persons is common in litigation. In court a deposition may be used to impeach one’s credibility if they change their story or if they are unavailable for trial testimony. That said deponents sometimes do not know whether they should review their deposition and why. Generally, reviewing your deposition and having the chance to note mistakes is important. What should you look for? First, are all of the facts you relayed correctly stated in your deposition. Did you misunderstand a question or give an answer that is not recorded correctly in the deposition because, for instance, you had ...
June 18, 2015Adam Hayes
In all forms of litigation, civil and criminal, depositions are a common form of “discovery.” Discovery is the process of obtaining information to prepare for trial. In a deposition, an attorney asks questions with the other attorney asking clarification questions to get an accurate answer. With a deposition, it is easy for a party to under- or over-answer questions. When this or other improper answer occurs, the attorney will object, but the witness can answer unless his or her attorney instructs him not to do so; an example where a litigant would be instructed not to answer is with assertion of ...
April 28, 2015Adam Hayes
Prior to a final hearing, discovery may be completed to allow the parties to gather information relevant to the pending matters. Discovery can be conducted in many forms, including written questions (interrogatories), requests for production of documents, depositions, third party discovery, and requests for admission. The discovery process allows for several means of gathering information, and being able to request documents and information from opposing and third parties. Requests for admission are governed by Indiana Trial Rule 361. Requests for admission are served upon an opposing party, and seek the truth of the matters requested, including the genuineness of documents described. For ...
July 8, 2014CD
A deposition is a discovery tool, or a way that attorneys and litigants gather information that is relevant to the case. A deposition is just one of many options that attorneys utilize in gathering pertinent information to effectively prepare your case for settlement or trial. For example, during a divorce case, your spouse raises claims that he or she wants spousal maintenance (alimony), and you want to know why, or what their basis is. A deposition is an opportunity to ask many questions about their assertions regarding their request. On the other hand, depositions are good to see how an ...
March 27, 2014CD
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. recently posted a blog on depositions and technology and what happens after a deposition is given. This blog focuses on some universals of the actual experience of a deposition–the general rules that are given by the deposing attorney to each deponent. They vary slightly from case to case. However, if you face a deposition and understand these rules, it will go a long way to minimize the unknown and fear associated with it. And as always, having sufficient knowledge of the process and general rules, allows litigants to have less stress and better answers to the questions. A ...
April 24, 2012CD