Civil Depositions in Smiths Station, Alabama
In Smiths Station, Alabama, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Smiths Station, Alabama. During the discovery process, both sides are obligated to make relevant information available to each other.
One way to receive this information in Smiths Station, Alabama is to conduct a deposition. A deposition, at its core, is a fairly simple process. A deposition is a question and answer session conducted outside the courtroom. Usually, it takes place in the office space of an attorney representing one of the parties. There are a few people who are almost always present at the deposition: there's the person being deposed, the lawyer who is going to be asking the questions, a lawyer representing the other side of the lawsuit, who can object to any questions being asked (a judge can rule on the objections later), and a court reporter or video recorder, to ensure that the testimony ends up on the record.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Smiths Station, Alabama
Depositions in Smiths Station, Alabama are meant to get verbal testimony on the record and into evidence, when there is concern that the individual being deposed might be unable to show up and testify at trial, or their testimony will take far too long for them to testify at trial.
Civil Depositions in Smiths Station, Alabama can sometimes go on for days, and occasionally even weeks. If you are obligated to appear for a deposition in Smiths Station, Alabama, it can prove to be a significant inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Smiths Station, 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.
If you are called to a deposition in Smiths Station, Alabama, it's absolutely essential that you answer all the questions truthfully, to the best of your knowledge. When testifying in a deposition, you are under oath, just as you would be in open court. Deliberately lying in a deposition is perjury, which is a serious crime.
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How Can A Smiths Station, 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 Smiths Station, 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 Smiths Station, 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.