Litigation Lawyers in Bellefonte
Depositions are part of the discovery procedure in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
In Bellefonte, 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 Bellefonte, 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 Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
In Bellefonte, 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. 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 bad health, or any other reason.
Civil Depositions in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, can take a very long time to be completed, typically lasting several days, and occasionally going on for weeks. So, people who are called to give depositions in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania should be ready for some substantial inconvenience.
To mitigate this, the law of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania typically 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 advantageous to one side or the other.
When giving a deposition in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, be sure to answer all of the questions honestly, and to the absolute best of your knowledge. You will be sworn in before the deposition starts, and you will be under oath, just as if you were in open court. Thus, if you lie, you are committing perjury, which can land you in jail.
How Can A Bellefonte, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're a party to a Bellefonte, Pennsylvania lawsuit and are obligated to appear at a deposition, one would hope that you've already retained a lawyer by this stage in the proceedings. Your attorney will have a lot of advice for you, which you should of course follow.
If you're not a party to a lawsuit in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, but have knowledge about some of the facts that are at issue in a pending case, you might still be contacted to appear in a deposition. In that case, you likely don't need to hire a lawyer.