Litigation Lawyers in San Francisco
In San Francisco, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery process in civil litigation.
In San Francisco, California, "discovery" is a time-consuming procedure that occurs before a case goes to trial. In the process, each side of the lawsuit is legally required to disclose all of the relevant information they have in their possession to the other side.
One way to acquire this information in San Francisco, 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 San Francisco, California
In San Francisco, 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 poor health, or any other reason.
Civil Depositions in San Francisco, California can sometimes go on for days, and occasionally even weeks. If you are required to appear for a deposition in San Francisco, California, it can prove to be a significant inconvenience.
To mitigate this, the law of San Francisco, California usually 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 give testimony that's favorable to one side or the other.
When giving a deposition in San Francisco, 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 begins, and you will be under oath, just as if you were in open court. So, if you lie, you are committing perjury, which can land you in jail.
How Can A San Francisco, 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 a San Francisco, 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 a San Francisco, 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.