Litigation Lawyers in Atwater
In Atwater, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery process in civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a process that occurs before a trial in Atwater, California. During the discovery process, both sides are required to make relevant information available to each other.
One of the most effective ways to acquire information relevant to a lawsuit in Atwater, 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 person 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 primarily 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 Atwater, California
If the parties believe that a witness in Atwater, California won't be able to show up in court to testify during trial, because of age, poor health, upcoming military deployment, potential 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.
Atwater, California civil depositions can go on for a long time - occasionally going for a week or more. If you get subpoenaed to give your testimony in an Atwater, California civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To help deal with this fact, Atwater, California allows witnesses who are being deposed to be compensated for their time. They can be reimbursed for lodging, travel expenses, and given a small amount of money for their time. Remember, however, that this money is most definitely NOT conditioned on the witness giving testimony that's favorable to one side, and omitting information that's unfavorable. This would be bribery, and it is highly illegal.
In Atwater, California 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 very steep fines.
How Can A Atwater, California 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 point, already be represented by an Atwater, California civil litigation attorney. You should do whatever they tell you to do (unless, of course, they tell you to lie, in which 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 probably don't need to hire an Atwater, California 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.