Litigation Lawyers in Altoona
Depositions are part of the discovery procedure in Altoona, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
In Altoona, Pennsylvania, "discovery" is a procedure that happens before a civil trial, during which both sides are obligated to disclose relevant evidence to the other.
One of the most effective ways to receive information relevant to a lawsuit in Altoona, Pennsylvania 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 individual 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 mainly 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 Altoona, Pennsylvania
In Altoona, Pennsylvania, 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 bad health, or any other reason.
Altoona, Pennsylvania civil depositions can go on for a long time - sometimes going for a week or more. If you get subpoenaed to provide your testimony in a Altoona, Pennsylvania civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To mitigate this, the law of Altoona, Pennsylvania normally entitles people being deposed to reimbursement. They can be compensated for travel expenses, lodging, and a can be given a small amount of money simply for their time. However, this is meant to be reimbursement for the time and expense incurred in attending a deposition, and it is most definitely not payment for the witness to provide testimony that's beneficial to one side or the other.
In Altoona, Pennsylvania 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 extremely steep fines.
How Can A Altoona, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you are directly immersed in a lawsuit in Altoona, Pennsylvania, 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 throughout the deposition.
If you are not a party to the lawsuit, but are subpoenaed to testify in a deposition, you should at least contact with a Altoona, Pennsylvania attorney, who can advise you on how to proceed.