WHAT IS A DEPOSITION AND SHOULD ONE BE DONE IN MY CASE?
Most cases, including divorce and child custody,
Discovery is how attorneys find out the evidence the other side has, witnesses
they intend to call, documents in their possession, and other similar
issues. There are many types of discovery, many of which involve written
requests for information or documents. Depositions, however, are not just
written questions or requests. A deposition is the process of giving sworn
testimony, in person. This typically means that you, your lawyer, the
other lawyer, and probably the other party will all gather together to
give both lawyers the chance to question the other person. There will
be a court reporter present to record the answers that are given. The
testimony given that day will be under oath, and your answers can be brought
up at trial if you change your story or position.
The big advantage to a deposition is that it allows your attorney to ask
questions in real-time. Your attorney will be able to observe the reaction
of the witness. It also allows your attorney to ask follow up questions,
and really try to dig to the bottom of the issues. Your attorney can also
ask for documents to be produced in association with the answers. For
example, if the person being questioned discloses the existence of a bank
account, your attorney can ask that copies of the account statements be
produced within thirty days.
Depositions can also be used to question potential witnesses. This is often
done in cases where expert testimony will be used at trial. In custody
cases, this is frequently the therapist for the child or other professional
who can testify to what is in the child’s best interest.
The main draw back to a deposition is the expense. Depositions can get
expensive because you will have to pay your attorney for his or her time
to prepare as well as the time to be present during the depositions. The
court reporter will also need to be paid for his or her time to be present,
and if you want to order a copy of the transcript for the day, that will
also have to be paid for. It is therefore important to talk with your
attorney and balance the pros and cons before deciding to conduct a deposition.
While they can be very useful tools, the expense sometimes outweighs any
For more information on depositions and whether it would be helpful in
your case, contact us at (732) 529-6937.
about depositions, and help you understand what to expect, and whether
depositions could help you with your divorce.