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What Not to Do During a Deposition

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If you’ve been asked to give a deposition on a situation that you have knowledge about, you may be wondering what is required of you. A deposition is simply the process of giving the information that you have to a lawyer or a team of lawyers. Court cases occasionally do not cross a judge’s desk until months, or sometimes years later. A deposition is a way of getting the necessary information out of you as soon as possible so that it is as accurate as it can possibly be. While a deposition is not a scary thing, you may be wondering about etiquette, and while it is not a painful process to give a deposition, there are some things you should be sure to avoid during the process to save yourself and everyone else from a great deal of hassle.
Tip #1: Never Lie
Lying is one of the worst things you can do when you are giving a deposition. If you have been asked to answer the questions of the lawyers, it is because they believe that you have information that is necessary to their case. Everything that you say during your deposition will be recorded, and if you are caught in a lie there is a very real possibility that you will be held accountable for your lie. Even if you think lying will help you or will help someone else who is involved in the case, never lie.
Tip #2: Show Up When Asked
As with lying, not showing up to your deposition can get you in big trouble with the court. If you receive a subpoena asking you to be in a certain place at a specific time, make sure you either go to the appointment or contact the person who subpoenaed you so that you can make other arrangements.
Tip #3: Never Speculate
You may have seen one thing happen but didn’t see the things that led up to what you saw. Then, when you are being examined, you decide to speculate on what you believe happened before hand. Do not do this unless you are specifically asked for your opinion. Always answer in short, precise answers and avoid simply guessing on what you think happened.
Tip #4: Do Not Get Unruly
It can be a long and grueling process to give a deposition, especially if you have a lot of information. Sometimes depositions can go on for hours or even days. People who have little patience may be apt to get cranky about the situation. Avoid this. If you get upset during a deposition it will be noted and may make the court choose to ignore whatever information you have. There is no need to get too stressed during a deposition; simply answer the questions that are posed to you accurately and to the best of your knowledge. If you need a break you are allowed to ask for one as long as you have answered the last question that was asked of you.

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