Litigation Lawyers in Missoula
Civil depositions occur during civil litigation in Missoula, Montana. They are part of the discovery process.
In Missoula, 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 acquire information relevant to a lawsuit in Missoula, 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 Missoula, Montana
In Missoula, 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. 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 poor health, or any other reason.
Civil Depositions in Missoula, Montana, can take a very long time to be completed, typically lasting several days, and sometimes going on for weeks. So, people who are called to give depositions in Missoula, Montana should be prepared for some substantial inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Missoula, Montana 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 specific way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
If you are being deposed in Missoula, Montana you absolutely must answer all the questions truthfully and completely, to the best of your knowledge. You are under oath, and if you lie, and are caught, you could be charged with perjury, which can carry jail time.
How Can A Missoula, Montana 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 Missoula, Montana 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 are not directly engaged in the lawsuit, you might still have to appear at a deposition, if you have information that's relevant to the case in Missoula, Montana. 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.