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Deposition 101: Understanding the Basics


What is a Deposition?

Although they are not formally required for a courtroom trial, depositions are a vital tool when formulating the best strategies to win your case. As a part of the crucial conduct discovery phase, depositions are gathered in order for legal professionals to compile a full profile of facts and testimonies regarding the current case. Depositions are considered a formal investigation and each called upon witness is questioned under oath. During the deposition, the questions and answers from both the witness and attorney are taken down by Portland court reporters in a written transcript used for later analysis.


Why a Deposition Makes a Better Case

Depositions are a way of drafting a cohesive narrative of events to present in the courtroom. Part of the deposition can be considered a practice session for the witness to go over their testimony should they need to present it in court, while the main purpose of a deposition is meant to be an investigative operation for the opposing legal counsel. The opposition is preparing for what the witness will say, taking the time to gather a greater understanding of the events that have unfolded and to poke holes in the story should there be any inconsistencies.


Secure an Air-tight Deposition

In order to disrupt the opposition’s arguments, it is best if your story remains consistent. Inconsistencies are often criticized by legal news sites, and it’s been proven that the best method for ensuring consistency is telling the truth. In addition, remind your witness to speak slowly and carefully when being questioned and to let the attorney finish asking their questions before answering. So long as the answers are truthful, “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer. Be sure to encourage your witness to ask for clarification if an attorney’s question is vague or unclear so that they give an unvarying deposition.


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