Litigation Lawyers in Alameda County
In Alameda County, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Alameda County, California. During the discovery process, both sides are obligated to make relevant information available to each other.
One of the most effective ways to obtain information relevant to a lawsuit in Alameda County, California is to conduct a deposition of a party who you believe to be privy to that information. A deposition is a Q&A session between an attorney representing one of the parties to a lawsuit, and someone who has knowledge relevant to the lawsuit. This can be one of the parties, or a witness. The individual being deposed is sworn in, and must answer all of the questions presented to them under oath. An attorney representing the other side can object to lines of questioning, on every grounds that would be valid during in-court testimony. The purpose of this is mainly to get the objection on the record, but if it proves to be a major sticking point, a judge can rule on the objections later. If any questions are found to be invalid, the questions, and their answers, will not be shown to the jury during trial. This is much more effective than simply instructing the jury to disregard a question and answer they've already heard.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Alameda County, California
If the parties believe that a witness in Alameda County, California 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.
Alameda County, California civil depositions can go on for a long time - sometimes going for a week or more. If you get subpoenaed to provide your testimony in a Alameda County, California civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To mitigate this, the law of Alameda County, California usually entitles people being deposed to reimbursement. They can be compensated for travel expenses, lodging, and a can be given a small amount of money simply for their time. However, this is meant to be reimbursement for the time and expense incurred in attending a deposition, and it is most definitely not payment for the witness to provide testimony that's favorable to one side or the other.
If you are being deposed in Alameda County, California you absolutely must answer all the questions truthfully and completely, to the best of your knowledge. You are under oath, and if you lie, and are caught, you could be prosecuted with perjury, which can carry jail time.
How Can A Alameda County, California Lawyer Help?
If you are the plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit, you almost definitely already have a Alameda County, California lawyer. If either party to the lawsuit calls you for a deposition, your lawyer will have plenty of advice for you. You should, of course, follow that advice to the letter.
If you are not directly involved in the lawsuit, you might still have to appear at a deposition, if you have information that's relevant to the case in Alameda County, California. You likely don't need to hire a lawyer in that case, but it might be a good idea to at least get a consultation from one.