Litigation Lawyers in Hamilton
In Hamilton, Alabama, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Hamilton, Alabama. During the discovery process, both sides are obligated to make relevant information available to each other.
In Hamilton, 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 normally 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 particular lines of questioning, if they wish.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Hamilton, Alabama
Depositions are normally conducted in Hamilton, Alabama if a person's testimony will take several days, or more, to deliver. By doing this before a trial, the jury can be presented just with the testimony that turns out to be relevant, saving everyone a good deal of time. It is also useful if there is any reason to suspect that the witness will be unable to show up in court.
It should not be any shock, then, that civil depositions in Hamilton, Alabama can go on for a very long time. If you are contacted to appear in a deposition in Hamilton, Alabama, this can be a massive headache.
Because of this fact, the law in Hamilton, 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 particular way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
In Hamilton, 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 Hamilton, 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 Hamilton, 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 Hamilton, 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.