Litigation Lawyers in Woodland
In Woodland, California, a civil deposition is a part of the discovery process in civil litigation.
In Woodland, 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 of the most effective ways to acquire information relevant to a lawsuit in Woodland, California is to conduct a deposition of a party who you believe to be privy to that information. A deposition is a Q&A session between an attorney representing one of the parties to a lawsuit, and someone who has knowledge relevant to the lawsuit. This can be one of the parties, or a witness. The person being deposed is sworn in, and must answer all of the questions presented to them under oath. An attorney representing the other side can object to lines of questioning, on every grounds that would be valid during in-court testimony. The purpose of this is primarily to get the objection on the record, but if it proves to be a major sticking point, a judge can rule on the objections later. If any questions are found to be invalid, the questions, and their answers, will not be shown to the jury during trial. This is much more effective than simply instructing the jury to disregard a question and answer they've already heard.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Woodland, California
Depositions in Woodland, California are meant to get verbal testimony on the record and into evidence, when there is concern that the person being deposed might be unable to show up and testify at trial, or their testimony will take far too long for them to testify at trial.
It should not be any surprise, then, that civil depositions in Woodland, California can go on for a very long time. If you are called to appear in a deposition in Woodland, California, this can be a huge headache.
Because of this fact, the law in Woodland, 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 Woodland, 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 Woodland, 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 Woodland, 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, on the other hand, you're not directly engaged in the case, but have been subpoenaed to appear in a deposition as a witness in Woodland, 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.