Litigation Lawyers in Helena
Civil depositions occur during civil litigation in Helena, Montana. They are part of the discovery process.
In Helena, Montana, "discovery" is a process that occurs before a civil trial, during which both sides are required to disclose relevant evidence to the other.
One of the most effective ways to get information relevant to a lawsuit in Helena, Montana 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 Helena, Montana
In Helena, Montana, 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.
Helena, Montana civil depositions can go on for a long time - occasionally going for a week or more. If you get subpoenaed to give your testimony in a Helena, Montana civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
Therefore, Helena, Montana's civil procedure rules allow a person to be compensated for the time and money they spend in appearing at a deposition. If the witness lives far away from the location of the deposition, as is sometimes the case in large trials, they can be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses, and compensated for their time. However, this money cannot be used to influence HOW they testify, just to mitigate the inconvenience associated with testifying.
Remember, when you give a deposition in Helena, Montana, you're under oath. This means that you are under an absolute obligation to tell the truth. If you deliberately lie while under oath, you are committing perjury. Perjury is a serious crime, and can be punished by fines and imprisonment.
How Can A Helena, Montana Lawyer Help?
If you are the plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit, you almost certainly already have a Helena, Montana lawyer. If either party to the lawsuit calls you for a deposition, your lawyer will have plenty of advice for you. You should, of course, follow that advice to the letter.
If you are not a party to the case, but are subpoenaed to testify in a deposition, you should at least consult with a Helena, Montana attorney, who can advise you on how to proceed.