Weinstein Law Blog

Friday, August 19, 2016

Importance of a Deposition

              Arguably the most effective and important tool in a civil case is the deposition.  The simplest and most straightforward definition of a deposition is: a formal statement that someone who has promised to tell the truth makes so that the statement can be used in court.

Why is a Deposition Important?

            Depositions are taken by the defendant and the plaintiff.  They are an important tool for your case because they allow your lawyer to fully explore multiple facets of a case first-hand.  For example, depositions are taken of the people involved in the case.  If properly taken, the deposition will show you what your facing at trial.  It will allow your attorney to size up the other lawyer and party.  This alone, it worth its weight in gold.  However, you get more than just an assessment of the other side.  You will get a view into their story and their position.  This allows you to set the tone at trial and most importantly backs the other side into a version of events.

What Use is a Deposition?

            The deposition is a statement which may be used at trial.  Therefore, it may be used at the summary judgment stage.  This is a pre-trial motion which has the effect of a trial.  You can use the contents of the deposition, in conjunction with other evidence, to argue that you should win even pre-trial.

            Moreover, the deposition is an invaluable tool at trial.  Since it is a sworn statement, it may be used in front of a jury even if the person has since died from the time of the deposition.  It is a wonderful tool to use when confronting a witness or explain a situation.

How Do You Take a Deposition?

            While many attorneys take depositions, there are few who do them well.  A deposition is simply a tool for later use.  As such, it is important to remember what you are using it for.  Often, an attorney can get bogged down with a difficult witness or opposing lawyer and lose sight of what his/her goals are.  However, this is a showing of an inexperienced lawyer.  An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer will use the deposition as a trial tool.  Such a lawyer will keep their eye on the prize: getting the most information and hitting all the elements needed for trial.  Without an experienced lawyer taking a deposition, it may just be an exercise in futility.  This is why is it so important to have a lawyer with trial experience involved in the taking of a deposition.

How Do You Defend a Deposition?

             The key to a good defense of a deposition is properly preparing your client.  The lawyer must anticipate the opposing counsel’s questions and legal arguments.  A client must be honest and truthful with the lawyer in order for this to be done properly.  It is important that the client be reminded about the confidentiality that exists between the lawyer and client.  Without this trust, the lawyer will not be able to properly prepare the client for their deposition.


If you have a case involving a deposition, contact the Law Office of Jacob Z. Weinstein, PLLC

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As a former prosecutor, I fully understand the power law enforcement has. As a trial attorney, I know the law seems very scary.