Litigation Lawyers in Beaver Falls
Depositions are part of the discovery process in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
In Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, "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 Beaver Falls, 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 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 Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
In Beaver Falls, 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 poor health, or any other reason.
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania 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 Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To help mitigate this inconvenience, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania authorizes 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 Beaver Falls, 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 very steep fines.
How Can A Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you are the plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit, you almost certainly already have a Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania 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're not a party to a lawsuit in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, but have knowledge about some of the facts that are at issue in a pending case, you might still be called to appear in a deposition. In that case, you probably don't need to hire a lawyer.