Litigation Lawyers in Los Altos
In Los Altos, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
In Los Altos, 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 Los Altos, 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 Los Altos, California
Depositions are typically conducted in Los Altos, California if a person's testimony will take several days, or more, to deliver. By doing this before a trial, the jury can be presented just with the testimony that turns out to be relevant, saving everyone a good deal of time. It is also useful if there is any reason to suspect that the witness will be unable to show up in court.
Civil Depositions in Los Altos, California, can take a very long time to be completed, typically lasting several days, and occasionally going on for weeks. So, people who are called to give depositions in Los Altos, California should be ready for some substantial inconvenience.
To help deal with this fact, Los Altos, California permits 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 advantageous to one side, and omitting information that's unfavorable. This would be bribery, and it is highly illegal.
When giving a deposition in Los Altos, California, be sure to answer all of the questions honestly, and to the absolute best of your knowledge. You will be sworn in before the deposition starts, and you will be under oath, just as if you were in open court. Thus, if you lie, you are committing perjury, which can land you in jail.
How Can A Los Altos, California Lawyer Help?
If you're a party to a Los Altos, California lawsuit and are obligated to appear at a deposition, one would hope that you've already retained a lawyer by this stage in the proceedings. Your attorney will have a lot of advice for you, which you should of course follow.
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 Los Altos, 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.