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What is a Deposition? (Part 1)

The blog post What is a Deposition? (Part 1) Read more on: Accurate Court Reporting Inc

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There may be some of you out there, like me, which seem absolutely stumped sometimes when you come across any kind of legal jargon. Before I started working with Accurate Court Reporting, I didn’t know much about the legal process or any of the terminology used in the legal realm. Everything I knew was from watching reruns of TV shows like L.A. Law, Law and Order (yes, you can count any one of the spinoffs as well), The Practice and even Night Court. I thought by seeing the drama in the court room and watching the likes of Jack McCoy (Law and Order) tearing a witness apart on the stand was what it was like in a court room every day. But, it being television I understand that there is very little that is done on those shows that actually translate to real life. I would think that there are many people out there that think the same way I do; this is why I am starting this series on legal jargon.

So I ask the question, “What is a deposition”? A deposition is where an individual is asked to be present for questioning. It is where an out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is captured under oath by a certified court reporter and is later produced into a transcript. These testimonies are generally used later on in court or used for discovery purposes to help attorneys learn more facts about a case.


Who is Present at a Deposition?

The main individuals that are present at a deposition are the witness or deponent. The deponent is usually notified by subpoena or by his or her council to appear at a given time and place for questioning. The deponent is the most important individual present because they may hold key information that can sway a case in either direction.

Next are the attorneys. The attorneys present are the deponent’s council and any other council who has parties involved in the case. This can be an infinite amount of people and can range anywhere from 2 to 100, but realistic only entails a handful of attorneys at best.

Last is the court reporter. The reporter starts by administering an oath. It is the same oath that the deponent would take if the testimony were being given in court in front of a judge and jury. The reporter then captures a verbatim stenographic record of all that is said during the deposition. Now there are differences depending on which state the deposition is taking place as-well-as other individuals that can be present, like a father or mother, if a juvenile is the one being deposed.

More to be continued in Part 2!


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