Litigation Lawyers in Dothan
In Dothan, Alabama, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Dothan, Alabama. During the discovery process, both sides are obligated to make relevant information available to each other.
In Dothan, Alabama, one way to obtain 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 usually 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 certain lines of questioning, if they wish.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Dothan, Alabama
If the parties believe that a witness in Dothan, 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. Also, if they have to be questioned for several days, it is a good way to save the court's time.
Civil Depositions in Dothan, Alabama can sometimes go on for days, and occasionally even weeks. If you are obligated to appear for a deposition in Dothan, Alabama, it can prove to be a significant inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Dothan, 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 certain way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
In Dothan, Alabama depositions, everyone being deposed is under oath. This means that you are legally and morally obligated to answer every question truthfully. If you deliberately misrepresent your knowledge (lie), you are guilty of perjury. And if you're caught, you could end up facing jail time and/or some extremely steep fines.
How Can A Dothan, Alabama Lawyer Help?
If you are the defendant or plaintiff in a lawsuit, chances are good that you'll have to appear in a deposition. You should, by this time, already be represented by a Dothan, Alabama civil litigation attorney. You should do whatever they tell you to do (unless, of course, they tell you to lie, in that case you should find a new lawyer).
If you're not a party to the case, but have relevant information, you might be subpoenaed to appear in a deposition. In this case, you likely don't need to hire a Dothan, Alabama litigation attorney, but it would not be a bad idea to seek out a brief consultation with one, to get an idea of what to expect.