When a person considers the court process, it is common for them to envision it in the traditional sense of judge, jury and trials. In fact, court proceedings can require far more steps than what is typically played out in the news or on television.
Pre Trial Depositions
Depositions are part of a pre trial testimony that calls an expert witness to testify regarding the case. Court reporting companies are responsible for transcribing the contents of the testimony during a deposition; which usually will occur in an attorney’s office or conference room. There are pros and cons to a person going through the deposition process. One challenge being that the witness will be committed to the position or recommendation they make during a the duration of the legal process. One benefit to a deposition is that it could bring up a conversation regarding settlement. You will be asked if you would like to have an attorney present because pre trial depositions are considered to be legal proceedings. You may have to endure this process whether you are a defendant or plaintiff in a lawsuit. The outcome of your trial could be impacted negatively if there are inconsistencies in your statement. Although you have the ability to represent yourself, it is not advised to proceed with a deposition without legal representation. There will be questions asked of you by the opposing counsel that may be difficult to answer. Being able to prepare for deposition with practice questions and being coached through the process by an attorney will be helpful.
You should consider hiring an attorney to represent you if you have been called as a witness for a case. This is simply a way of protecting your rights, regardless of whether or not you are directly involved with the case. Your family, your employer and yourself could be impacted if you do not have an attorney present to represent you. Questions can be tricky and designed specifically to trip you up, because you must testify under oath, it is important that you are prepared for testimony. An attorney will be of great help because anything you say can be used against you.
Support from Your Employer
It can be an intimidating process to be called to testify. You can ask that your employer pay for legal counsel if you have been summoned to court to testify on part of your employer. Since you are testifying to the benefit of your employer, your employer may comply because it is in their best interest. They may either reimburse you once you have testified or directly pay an attorney.
If you have questions contact one of the court reporting companies Washington, D.C., respects to get help.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Veritext Legal Solutions for their insight into depositions.