Litigation Lawyers in Erie County
Depositions are part of the discovery process in Erie County, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
In Erie County, 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 Erie County, 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 Erie County, Pennsylvania
If the parties believe that a witness in Erie County, Pennsylvania won't be able to show up in court to testify during trial, because of age, poor health, upcoming military deployment, potential incarceration, or any other reason, a deposition is a very good way to get their testimony on the record before the trial. Also, if they have to be questioned for several days, it is a good way to save the court's time.
Erie County, 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 an Erie County, Pennsylvania civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To help mitigate this inconvenience, Erie County, Pennsylvania allows 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.
If you are being deposed in Erie County, 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 charged with perjury, which can carry jail time.
How Can A Erie County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're a party to an Erie County, Pennsylvania lawsuit and are required 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 involved in the case, but have been subpoenaed to appear in a deposition as a witness in Erie County, 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.