A deposition is a session in which the lawyers for both of the opposing parties question a witness, under oath. Attorneys use depositions as a tool, one that helps to build a given client’s case.
Formalized rules for any deposition
Each lawyer is allowed to ask any question that might aid discovery of a lead to admissible evidence. Personal injury lawyers in Barrie can depose a witness in person, on video or on the phone. The lawyer that has chosen to depose a given witness has the right to decide on the deposition’s location.
All of the questions asked, along with the witness’s answers are recorded and transcribed. In other words, the entirety of the testimony gets preserved. That is why lawyers view depositions as a tool. By studying the transcribed answers, any attorney can search for statements that could indicate a need for the introduction of more queries, during the trial.
Each lawyer has the right to object to any question, but there is no judge to rule on the objection; therefore, the objection is simply recorded.
The evidence that has come to light, as the lawyers depose various witnesses, gets added to the evidence from other stages of the discovery process. In that way, a sharing of evidence should take place.
Unwritten rules; guidelines for any deposed witness
Answer only the question that the lawyer has posed. Be ready to clarify that answer later, when the same lawyer gets a chance to ask more questions.
Do not guess at an answer; simply say, “I do not know.”
Do not feel pressed to provide a quick answer. A lawyer has no right to penalize any witnesses that pause for a noticeable amount of time, before providing an acceptable answer.
Be careful about what body language you might use, while providing an answer.
—Do not cross your arms over your chest.
—Do not cross your legs.
—Avoid making any move that could suggest nervousness.
—Practice looking at the lower portion of the questioner’s face, the part between the nose and the chin. Avoid staring into the questioner’s eyes.
—Speak up; do not speak so quietly that it might look as though you are trying to hide a certain fact.
The deposition and the other stages of the discovery process are supposed to guarantee a sharing of evidence. Judges expect that sharing process to get completed before the trial starts. Judges do not like to discover that one side has hidden some evidence from the other side.
Smart lawyers appreciate the fact that it does not pay to annoy the judge. Judges make numerous decisions during the course of any trial. So, a judge’s decision could affect the outcome for a client’s case.