Litigation Lawyers in Lafayette
A civil deposition in Lafayette, Louisiana occurs in many civil litigation cases, as part of the discovery process.
In Lafayette, Louisiana, "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 Lafayette, Louisiana 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 Lafayette, Louisiana
In Lafayette, Louisiana, 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 Lafayette, Louisiana, can take a very long time to be completed, usually lasting several days, and sometimes going on for weeks. So, people who are called to give depositions in Lafayette, Louisiana should be prepared for some significant inconvenience.
To help mitigate this inconvenience, Lafayette, Louisiana allows 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 serious problem: this would amount bribery, and it is a serious offense.
If you are called to a deposition in Lafayette, Louisiana, 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 Lafayette, Louisiana Lawyer Help?
If you are directly involved in a lawsuit in Lafayette, Louisiana, 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 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 Lafayette, Louisiana. You probably 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.