How to Prepare for a Deposition

Apr 03, 2017 Ohio Personal Injury

Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC

A deposition is an examination prior to trial in which sworn testimony is given before a court reporter. The deposition may be recorded on video, audio, or both. Often the examination will take place in an attorney’s conference room with both the plaintiff and defendant’s lawyers present. Other individuals who are party to the lawsuit may also be present to observe and listen to the proceeding. When preparing for a deposition, it’s important to know what to expect so you are not surprised or rattled by the questions you’ll receive.

Depositions are taken as part of the discovery process in advance of a trial. They can also be used to preserve the testimony of individuals who may be unavailable to attend the trial, either due to health reasons or prior obligations.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of malpractice or negligent harm, or if you have been summoned to provide a deposition in court, our team at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can help. We can guide you through the next steps to take in your situation. Contact our Ohio personal injury lawyers today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to set up a free consultation.

Why You Might Be Deposed

The reasons you may be summoned to take a deposition in a personal injury case include the following:

  • You have relevant information that is useful to one or both parties of the lawsuit
  • You are a witness to the personal injury claimed in the case
  • You are one of the parties in the case

The types of cases that commonly call for depositions include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Slips and falls
  • Dog bites
  • Industrial accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice

Tips for Handling Your Deposition

You don’t want to walk into this time of questioning impromptu or ill-prepared. Consider the following advice when preparing for a deposition:

1. Notify Your Attorney Immediately Upon Receipt of Notice of Your Deposition

Of course, upon receiving your notice of deposition, you’ll want to inform your attorney. Don’t make preparations or conduct research prior to discussing your deposition with your lawyer. Ohio personal injury lawyers have experience helping clients through these often lengthy examinations. They know what to expect and can help you prepare properly. Your attorney should inform you of who may be present at the deposition and if you are required to bring any documents or records to the meeting.

2. If Required, Meet and Practice with Your Attorney

Only the attorney questioning you in the deposition may know how long the proceeding may take place. Sometimes the length of the deposition can depend on the answers given to questions. Certain answers can potentially open up new lines of questioning – something that you and your attorney should prepare to avoid.

It can help to practice with your attorney in advance. Your lawyer can prepare you for expected questions and lines of questioning. The main piece of advice to follow when answering deposition questions is to be truthful and concise – this means in many cases simply answering yes or no. Do not elaborate and provide extra information in an effort to help the questioning attorney understand you better.

3. Prepare to Take the Oath

Before you attend your deposition, know that you will be taking an oath to state “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you, God.” You are, in fact, providing testimony under penalty of perjury. However, the best advice is to simply relax, tell the truth to the best of your knowledge and recollection, and you will be just fine. It is uncommon for a witness to be convicted of perjury, and simply following the above admonition should free you from that concern.

4. Prepare to Only Testify From Your Personal Knowledge

When answering questions at your deposition, avoid speculation. Don’t guess about facts or situations. Simply say “I don’t know” if you don’t know. As well, if you don’t remember, say “I don’t remember.” These are the best answers to give if you are in doubt or don’t have a firm recollection or knowledge of the information sought by the attorney.

5. Conduct Yourself in Calm and Professional Manner

The way you present yourself at your deposition, from start to finish, is important. Prepare to maintain an aura of professionalism in your demeanor and your answers. It goes without saying that during the period of your questioning, you should avoid reacting in anger, frustration, or bewilderment. However, you should maintain that same manner of calmness when you are off the record as well, either during breaks in your testimony or before and after the examination. Do not become defensive at the line of question posed to you. Simply answer concisely and wait for the next question.

6. Dress Professionally

Although a deposition has no dress code, good advice is to dress in a somewhat professional manner (at a minimum). Remember that you will be in an environment among legal professionals. Your dress ties in with the presentation of yourself and your demeanor – so take it seriously and make a positive impression.

Our Ohio Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here For You

Whether you are preparing for a deposition, or have suffered injury or harm from another party, our Ohio personal injury lawyers at KNR are here to help. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or use our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.

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