Litigation Lawyers in Santa Maria
In Santa Maria, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery procedure in civil litigation.
In Santa Maria, 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 Santa Maria, 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 Santa Maria, California
In Santa Maria, 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.
Civil Depositions in Santa Maria, California can sometimes go on for days, and occasionally even weeks. If you are obligated to appear for a deposition in Santa Maria, California, it can prove to be a significant inconvenience.
Thus, Santa Maria, California's civil procedure rules allow a person to be compensated for the time and money they spend in appearing at a deposition. If the witness lives far away from the location of the deposition, as is occasionally the case in large trials, they can be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses, and compensated for their time. However, this money cannot be used to influence HOW they testify, just to mitigate the inconvenience linked with testifying.
If you are called to a deposition in Santa Maria, California, it's absolutely essential that you answer all the questions truthfully, to the best of your knowledge. When testifying in a deposition, you are under oath, just as you would be in open court. Deliberately lying in a deposition is perjury, which is a serious crime.
How Can A Santa Maria, California Lawyer Help?
If you are the plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit, you almost definitely already have a Santa Maria, California lawyer. If either party to the lawsuit calls you for a deposition, your lawyer will have plenty of advice for you. You should, of course, follow that advice to the letter.
If you are not directly involved in the lawsuit, you might still have to appear at a deposition, if you have information that's relevant to the case in Santa Maria, California. You likely don't need to hire a lawyer in that case, but it might be a good idea to at least get a consultation from one.