Litigation Lawyers in St. Joseph
A civil deposition in St. Joseph, Illinois happens in many civil litigation cases, as part of the discovery procedure.
In St. Joseph, Illinois, "discovery" is a procedure that happens before a civil trial, during which both sides are obligated to disclose relevant evidence to the other.
One way to receive this information in St. Joseph, Illinois 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 St. Joseph, Illinois
In St. Joseph, Illinois, 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 bad health, or any other reason.
St. Joseph, Illinois civil depositions can go on for a long time - sometimes going for a week or more. If you get subpoenaed to provide your testimony in a St. Joseph, Illinois civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To help mitigate this inconvenience, St. Joseph, Illinois permits witnesses who are appearing in depositions to be paid a set amount of money for their time, and reimbursed for travel expenses. However, if there is any evidence that this money is being used to influence a witness' testimony, there is going to be a significant problem: this would amount bribery, and it is a serious offense.
In St. Joseph, Illinois 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 St. Joseph, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you are directly engaged in a lawsuit in St. Joseph, Illinois, 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 throughout the deposition.
If you're not a party to a lawsuit in St. Joseph, Illinois, but have knowledge about some of the facts that are at issue in a pending case, you might still be contacted to appear in a deposition. In that case, you likely don't need to hire a lawyer.