Litigation Lawyers in Berwick
Depositions are part of the discovery process in Berwick, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
In Berwick, 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 Berwick, 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 Berwick, Pennsylvania
In Berwick, 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.
Civil Depositions in Berwick, Pennsylvania, can take a very long time to be completed, normally lasting several days, and sometimes going on for weeks. So, people who are called to give depositions in Berwick, Pennsylvania should be prepared for some considerable inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Berwick, Pennsylvania 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 particular way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
If you are called to a deposition in Berwick, Pennsylvania, it's absolutely necessary that you answer all the questions truthfully, to the best of your knowledge. When testifying in a deposition, you are under oath, just as you would be in open court. Deliberately lying in a deposition is perjury, which is a serious crime.
How Can A Berwick, Pennsylvania 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 Berwick, Pennsylvania 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, on the other hand, you're not directly immersed in the case, but have been subpoenaed to appear in a deposition as a witness in Berwick, Pennsylvania, you may not need to hire a lawyer. The lawyers for both sides will probably prep you for the deposition, giving you an idea of what to expect.