Litigation Lawyers in Opelousas
A civil deposition in Opelousas, Louisiana occurs in many civil litigation cases, as part of the discovery process.
In Opelousas, 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 get information relevant to a lawsuit in Opelousas, 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 Opelousas, Louisiana
If the parties believe that a witness in Opelousas, Louisiana won't be able to show up in court to testify during trial, because of age, poor health, upcoming military deployment, potential incarceration, or any other reason, a deposition is a very good way to get their testimony on the record before the trial. Additionally, if they have to be questioned for several days, it is a good way to save the court's time.
So, it shouldn't be surprising that civil depositions in Opelousas, Louisiana can often go on for several days. If you are subpoenaed for a deposition in , Louisiana, you are typically obligated to appear. This can be a source of some inconvenience.
To help mitigate this inconvenience, Opelousas, Louisiana 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 serious problem: this would amount bribery, and it is a serious offense.
In Opelousas, Louisiana 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 Opelousas, Louisiana Lawyer Help?
If you are a party to a lawsuit, and are called to a deposition, chances are you're already represented by a , Louisiana attorney. Obviously, you should follow their advice with respect to the deposition.
If you're not a party to the case, but have relevant information, you might be subpoenaed to appear in a deposition. In this case, you probably don't need to hire a Opelousas, Louisiana litigation attorney, but it would not be a bad idea to seek out a brief consultation with one, to get an idea of what to expect.