Litigation Lawyers in Santa Barbara County
In Santa Barbara County, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery process in civil litigation.
In Santa Barbara County, 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 Santa Barbara County, 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. Typically, 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 Santa Barbara County, California
In Santa Barbara County, 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. Additionally, 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 Santa Barbara County, California can sometimes go on for days, and occasionally even weeks. If you are required to appear for a deposition in Santa Barbara County, California, it can prove to be a substantial inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Santa Barbara County, California allows 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 specific way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
In Santa Barbara County, 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 very steep fines.
How Can A Santa Barbara County, California Lawyer Help?
If you are directly engaged in a lawsuit in Santa Barbara County, California, and have to appear at a deposition, you should already be represented by a lawyer. It goes without saying that you should do whatever they advise you to do during the deposition.
If you're not a party to a lawsuit in Santa Barbara County, California, but have knowledge about some of the facts that are at issue in a pending case, you might still be called to appear in a deposition. In that case, you probably don't need to hire a lawyer.