Civil Depositions in Bell Gardens, California
In Bell Gardens, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Bell Gardens, California. During the discovery process, both sides are obligated to make relevant information available to each other.
One of the most effective ways to receive information relevant to a lawsuit in Bell Gardens, 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 Bell Gardens, California
If the parties believe that a witness in Bell Gardens, 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. Additionally, if they have to be questioned for several days, it is a good way to save the court's time.
Bell Gardens, 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 Bell Gardens, California civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To help mitigate this inconvenience, Bell Gardens, California permits witnesses who are appearing in depositions to be paid a set amount of money for their time, and reimbursed for travel expenses. However, if there is any evidence that this money is being used to influence a witness' testimony, there is going to be a significant problem: this would amount bribery, and it is a serious offense.
If you are being deposed in Bell Gardens, 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.
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How Can A Bell Gardens, California Lawyer Help?
If you are the plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit, you almost definitely already have a Bell Gardens, 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're not a party to a lawsuit in Bell Gardens, California, but have knowledge about some of the facts that are at issue in a pending case, you might still be contacted to appear in a deposition. In that case, you likely don't need to hire a lawyer.