Seattle Deposition Reporters LLC


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Explain a Deposition

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Explain a Deposition

 The deposition, sometimes appropriately referred to as an "examination before trial," is an important part of the pretrial process (often called "discovery").  A deposition is very similar to a witness examination at trial.  A deposition may last less than one hour, take several hours to complete or longer. Since most depositions are concluded in one day, there are but some instances the deposition continues for two or more days.  Unfortunately, only the lawyer taking the deposition can predict the length of the deposition. 

Prior to your deposition, your lawyer should arrange an appointment to prepare you for your deposition.  This is an extremely valuable opportunity for you to review the facts and circumstances of your case with your lawyer before being questioned by the opposing lawyer.  It is important that you attend this meeting so as to be best prepared for your deposition.  As any experienced trial lawyer will tell you, a difficult case can be greatly enhanced by a good deposition performance, just as a great case can be jeopardized by a poor one.  In short, the time and effort you devote to preparing for your deposition are valuable investments in your case and should not be lost. 

Reason for Taking a Deposition

The most common reason for taking a deposition is to learn what that witness knows or does not know about the facts involved in a particular case.  A deposition is not an attempt by the opposing side to intimidate or harass you.  Generally, a party to a lawsuit has the right to take the deposition of another party, or a witness with information relevant to the case.  A deposition is often the lawyer’s only opportunity to question another party directly, prior to the trial of the case.  The deposition is, therefore, among the lawyer’s most valuable pre-trial tools and the law prescribes certain rules for taking deposition testimony.  The parties in a litigation are afforded an opportunity through their lawyers to question each other, and sometimes persons who are not named as parties in the lawsuit, about facts that might be relevant to the case.  This discovery process helps the litigants prepare for possible motions, out-of-court settlement, or trial. 

After the deposition is over, the court reporter will type out the transcript of the questions and answers, and all parties will receive copies.  You will have the opportunity to review the record and make corrections, but generally the reporter's word will prevail.  In major cases, where cost is not a concern, both sides may have their own court reporters present.  The original may be filed with the court, and become publicly available, depending on the rules of the court or state. 

For your deposition, call Seattle Deposition Reporters at: 206.622.6661 


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