Do All Courts Require an Oral Court Deposition?

Jan 10 2018 | posted by LORR Team

A deposition, in terms of the law, is the process of sworn evidence. In most cases, they’re not even done in the courtroom. They’re usually interviews and witness testimony, which are recorded and transcribed. If they’re done in the courtroom, they’re usually expert opinions.

Depositions aren’t necessary for every court case, but for most, they are in fact required. In cases of legalities, not just factual events, they won’t be required because witness testimony won’t usually play a large role in these cases.

Factual Vs. Legal

Factual pertains to the facts as they happened, (ex. Did Tom slap Harry? Did Mary intentionally wreck Tom’s car with the baseball bat? Who pulled who’s hair first?) and these require eyewitness testimony and oral depositions. The depositions will be done in the attorney’s office and recorded at the time. They may be repeated in the courtroom as needed. The outcomes to these cases are decided by a judge or a jury, again, all depending on the case.

Legal issues are the legal proceedings and the technical aspects of the court. Whenever a motion is made to dismiss the case, for example, that’s a legal issue, rather than a factual issue. Those legal issues do not require an oral deposition, but simply the correct paperwork to be filed.

What if I’m required to give a deposition?

If you’re required to give a deposition, don’t panic, just remain calm and follow this advice:

  • Tell the truth. Your depositions are given under oath, and if you tell a lie it’s perjury which is a felony.
  • Ask questions back, if you’re unsure of what a question means, ask for clarification.
  • You can stop at any point and confer with your lawyer before answering a question. And if you are asked what you talked about with your attorney, Do. Not. Answer.
  • If you realize you’ve made a mistake, admit it. Even if it’s after the deposition is over if you realize you’ve committed an error call either your attorney, or the opposing attorney and tell them of your error, and then the correct information.

Not all court cases will require a deposition, but if your case does and you’re called to give an oral deposition just follow that advice, and you’ll do just fine.

Need assistance with an oral court deposition, or another type of court deposition? Contact our offices today and see how we can help.