How do I get ready for a deposition?
A deposition is a testimony that occurs outside of the courtroom. In general, the opposing attorney asks questions that you are required to answer under oath. You should treat a deposition as if you are being called as a witness in a courtroom, as most anything you say during the deposition can be used in the trial if it is related to the case at hand.
Since a deposition is so important to the outcome of a trial, it is important for you to be prepared beforehand. While you should check in with your attorney ahead of time, these are some guidelines we recommend:
- Dress appropriately. You should dress like you are appearing in court.
- Ask for a break when needed. While depositions can be quite long, ask for a break if you need one. Georgia allows a witness to take a break if needed. This is not a sprint and breaks will always be accommodated.
- Take a breath and think before you respond. Lawyers like to try and ask tricky questions. Think about the question that is being asked and answer only the question that is asked.
- Tell the truth. This cannot be said enough. You are under oath. Assume that the attorney asking questions already knows the answers and is just getting a statement directly from you. Lying, hiding information, or telling conflicting stories will only hurt your case.
- Answer fully. If you are asked to list something, give the whole list. Don’t try to be smarter than the lawyer by excluding certain elements of an answer. Again, assume they already know the answer.
- Answer simply. On the other hand, unless the question is specifically requesting more detailed information, keep your answers to”yes”,”no”,or”I don’t know.”
What questions will be asked at a deposition?
The exact questions asked at a deposition may vary, but some examples of questions include:
- What types of injuries and illnesses have you had during the course of your life?
- What types of lawsuits or legal claims have you previously been involved in?
- Do you have a criminal record? If so, what crimes were you convicted for?
- Who was with you when the accident happened? Were there any witnesses?
- What is the nature of your injury?
- Are there activities you cannot do because of your injury?
At Geiger Legal Group, LLC, we meet and prep our clients on what the deposition experience will be like, potential tricky questions they’ll encounter, and other guidance specifically tailored for their case.