Litigation Lawyers in Bethlehem
Depositions are part of the discovery procedure in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
In Bethlehem, 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 Bethlehem, 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 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
In Bethlehem, 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.
Civil Depositions in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, can take a very long time to be completed, normally lasting several days, and occasionally going on for weeks. So, people who are called to give depositions in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania should be ready for some considerable inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania permits 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 being deposed in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 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 prosecuted with perjury, which can carry jail time.
How Can A Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're a party to a Bethlehem, 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, 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 Bethlehem, 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.