Depositions are part of the discovery process in a case. A deposition is a recorded statement under oath. The purpose of a deposition is discovery of facts to help ascertain the parties' strengths and weaknesses in the lawsuit. The scope of discovery that can be asked in a deposition is very broad. A lawyer is entitled to ask questions regarding any matter, which is not privileged, and is relevant to the subject matter of the lawsuit.
A deposition can be taken of any person with knowledge or information regarding the case. This can include parties to the lawsuit, fact witnesses (ie. eyewitnesses), expert witnesses, or corporate representatives. Most often, it is the opposing party’s attorney who will conduct the deposition of a party or fact witness.
Deposition testimony has a number of uses in a lawsuit, which include: Evidence in support of or against a motion pending before the judge; As a tool to help foster a settlement; In lieu of the witness actually coming to trial if the parties agree or the witness lives more than 100 miles from the county in which the case is pending; To impeach a witness that testifies differently in trial than he or she testified in deposition.