Litigation Lawyers in Petaluma
In Petaluma, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
In Petaluma, 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 obtain this information in Petaluma, California is to conduct a deposition. A deposition, at its core, is a fairly simple process. A deposition is a question and answer session conducted outside the courtroom. Usually, it takes place in the office space of an attorney representing one of the parties. There are a few people who are almost always present at the deposition: there's the person being deposed, the lawyer who is going to be asking the questions, a lawyer representing the other side of the lawsuit, who can object to any questions being asked (a judge can rule on the objections later), and a court reporter or video recorder, to ensure that the testimony ends up on the record.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Petaluma, California
In Petaluma, California, the main reason to conduct a deposition, as opposed to having someone testify in court, is to save time. After days of depositions, the jury can be presented with just the relevant testimony, if the case goes to trial. Also, it's a good idea to conduct a deposition if there's any reason to believe that the witness will not be able to show up to court to testify, due to bad health, or any other reason.
So, it shouldn't be startling that civil depositions in Petaluma, California can typically go on for several days. If you are subpoenaed for a deposition in , California, you are usually obligated to appear. This can be a source of some inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Petaluma, California permits witnesses who are appearing for depositions to be compensated for the expense associated with it. This includes reimbursement for gas, lodging, and food. They can also be paid a certain amount of money for every hour they testify, to compensate them for their time. However, this money can only be conditioned on the witness showing up and giving truthful testimony. Trying to condition it on the witness testifying in a certain way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
In Petaluma, 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.
How Can A Petaluma, 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 Petaluma, 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, on the other hand, you're not directly involved in the case, but have been subpoenaed to appear in a deposition as a witness in Petaluma, California, you may not need to hire a lawyer. The lawyers for both sides will probably prep you for the deposition, giving you an idea of what to expect.