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. From a practice standpoint, we see more and more depositions being taken to try to corral the massive amount of information and sources that may contain information that makes or breaks a case. In addition, the constant bombardment of information creates memory shortfalls if for no other reason than distraction and lack of concentration (there is a great deal of scientific research on this matter beyond the scope of this blog).
For this reason, if your deposition is taken, you should accept the chance to review it. This is for three key reasons. First, we almost think in sound and visual bites and a review of your deposition may help you remember detail locked away in a different part of your brain or digital source. This prevents the embarrassing, if not more serious claim of perjury, position of having to admit you “forgot” something as important as a life insurance policy or some other key point.
Second, in reviewing your deposition and reading it aloud, you may (and probably will) realize that part of your response was in your mind but not said. Sometimes a simple question can be answered with a “yes” or “no” depending on how you mentally process the question. For example, “Is that your account one only you are entitled to?” Your answer may be “no” because you have moved it to a different institution. However, “yes” may also be a correct answer. The sheet included with the deposition, called the errata sheet, is a place to correct such mistakes or incomplete answers.
Third, and most practically, a deposition is a stressful time and stress impacts memory and accuracy of statements. This is backed up by much science. However, failure to reveal a qualifier, mis-statement, or inaccuracy for the first time is not in court. The judge then has to decide if it was an honest mistake or perhaps intentional and this may have a detrimental impact on your case. These tools (deposition and errata sheets) exist to protect you and aid in the process.
In summary, unless there is a good and compelling reason not to do so, obtaining your deposition and reviewing it is a sound way to help your case, your lawyer, and the court to do its job to advocate your position (your counsel) and the trial court to render impartial justice. We hope this blog helps you generally understand why you may want to review your deposition. This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. and is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates practice across Indiana.