Litigation Lawyers in Birmingham
In Birmingham, Alabama, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Birmingham, Alabama. During the discovery process, both sides are obligated to make relevant information available to each other.
In Birmingham, Alabama, one way to receive this information is to find the people involved in the dispute (whether they're witnesses or parties), and ask them questions about the issues you believe them to have knowledge of. A civil deposition is typically a pretty simple process: the person being deposed is sworn in (they are under oath, just as if they were in a courtroom). Because the whole point of a deposition is to get testimony on the record, a stenographer or video technician will also be present, recording the whole deposition. The lawyer then asks questions of the witness, and the lawyers for the other side are able to object to specific lines of questioning, if they wish.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Birmingham, Alabama
If the parties believe that a witness in Birmingham, Alabama won't be able to show up in court to testify during trial, because of age, bad health, upcoming military deployment, possible incarceration, or any other reason, a deposition is a very good way to get their testimony on the record before the trial. Additionally, if they have to be questioned for several days, it is a good way to save the court's time.
It should not be any shock, then, that civil depositions in Birmingham, Alabama can go on for a very long time. If you are contacted to appear in a deposition in Birmingham, Alabama, this can be a huge headache.
Because of this fact, the law in Birmingham, Alabama permits witnesses who are appearing for depositions to be compensated for the expense associated with it. This includes reimbursement for gas, lodging, and food. They can also be paid a certain amount of money for every hour they testify, to compensate them for their time. However, this money can only be conditioned on the witness showing up and giving truthful testimony. Trying to condition it on the witness testifying in a specific way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
Remember, when you give a deposition in Birmingham, Alabama, you're under oath. This means that you are under an absolute requirement to tell the truth. If you deliberately lie while under oath, you are committing perjury. Perjury is a serious crime, and can be punished by fines and imprisonment.
How Can A Birmingham, Alabama Lawyer Help?
If you're a party to a Birmingham, Alabama lawsuit and are obligated to appear at a deposition, one would hope that you've already retained a lawyer by this stage in the proceedings. Your attorney will have a lot of advice for you, which you should of course follow.
If, on the other hand, you're not directly engaged in the case, but have been subpoenaed to appear in a deposition as a witness in Birmingham, Alabama, you may not need to hire a lawyer. The lawyers for both sides will probably prep you for the deposition, giving you an idea of what to expect.