Civil Depositions in El Cerrito, California
In El Cerrito, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
In El Cerrito, California, "discovery" is a time-consuming process that happens before a case goes to trial. In the process, each side of the lawsuit is legally obligated to disclose all of the relevant information they have in their possession to the other side.
One way to acquire this information in El Cerrito, California is to simply sit down with someone involved in the dispute, or with knowledge of some of the issues, and ask them questions. This can be done through a civil deposition, which is basically a Q&A session between a lawyer, and the person being deposed. A lawyer for the other side will also be present. The person being deposed is answering their questions under oath, just as if they were testifying in court. Because of this, it's important to get their statements on the record. For that purpose, a court reporter or videographer will be present.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in El Cerrito, California
If the parties believe that a witness in El Cerrito, 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.
El Cerrito, 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 El Cerrito, California civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To mitigate this, the law of El Cerrito, California typically 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 advantageous to one side or the other.
In El Cerrito, 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 extremely steep fines.
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How Can A El Cerrito, 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 time, already be represented by a El Cerrito, California 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 El Cerrito, 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.