Litigation Lawyers in Birmingham
A civil deposition in Birmingham, Michigan occurs in many civil litigation cases, as part of the discovery process.
Discovery, in Birmingham, Michigan is a very important step in the civil litigation process. It is when all of the relevant evidence is gathered by both sides, and, generally, each side must disclose that evidence to the other.
One of the most effective ways to get information relevant to a lawsuit in Birmingham, Michigan 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 Birmingham, Michigan
In Birmingham, Michigan, 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. Furthermore, 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 Birmingham, Michigan, can take a very long time to be completed, normally lasting several days, and sometimes going on for weeks. So, people who are called to give depositions in Birmingham, Michigan should be prepared for some considerable inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Birmingham, Michigan 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 particular way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
If you are called to a deposition in Birmingham, Michigan, it's absolutely necessary 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 Birmingham, Michigan 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 Birmingham, Michigan 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 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 Birmingham, Michigan 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.