Litigation Lawyers in Johnstown
Depositions are part of the discovery procedure in Johnstown, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. During the discovery process, both sides are obligated to make relevant information available to each other.
In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, one way to get relevant evidence is to ask individuals involved in the dispute (both parties and witnesses) about their knowledge of the matter. This is done through a civil deposition. It is essentially a question and answer session between a lawyer, and a witness or party to the action. A lawyer for the other side is present, as well as a court reporter or videographer. The lawyer asks questions of the person being deposed, who must answer them under oath.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
If the parties believe that a witness in Johnstown, Pennsylvania won't be able to show up in court to testify during trial, because of age, bad health, upcoming military deployment, possible incarceration, or any other reason, a deposition is a very good way to get their testimony on the record before the trial. Furthermore, if they have to be questioned for several days, it is a good way to save the court's time.
Johnstown, Pennsylvania civil depositions can go on for a long time - sometimes going for a week or more. If you get subpoenaed to provide your testimony in a Johnstown, Pennsylvania civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To help deal with this fact, Johnstown, Pennsylvania permits witnesses who are being deposed to be compensated for their time. They can be reimbursed for lodging, travel expenses, and given a small amount of money for their time. Remember, however, that this money is most definitely NOT conditioned on the witness giving testimony that's beneficial to one side, and omitting information that's unfavorable. This would be bribery, and it is highly illegal.
Remember, when you give a deposition in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, you're under oath. This means that you are under an absolute requirement to tell the truth. If you deliberately lie while under oath, you are committing perjury. Perjury is a serious crime, and can be punished by fines and imprisonment.
How Can A Johnstown, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you are the plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit, you almost definitely already have a Johnstown, 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 the case, but have relevant information, you might be subpoenaed to appear in a deposition. In this case, you likely don't need to hire a Johnstown, Pennsylvania litigation attorney, but it would not be a bad idea to seek out a brief consultation with one, to get an idea of what to expect.