Litigation Lawyers in Pittsburgh
Depositions are part of the discovery procedure in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During the discovery process, both sides are obligated to make relevant information available to each other.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one way to obtain this information is to find the people involved in the dispute (whether they're witnesses or parties), and ask them questions about the issues you believe them to have knowledge of. A civil deposition is normally a pretty simple process: the person being deposed is sworn in (they are under oath, just as if they were in a courtroom). Because the whole point of a deposition is to get testimony on the record, a stenographer or video technician will also be present, recording the whole deposition. The lawyer then asks questions of the witness, and the lawyers for the other side are able to object to particular lines of questioning, if they wish.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
If the parties believe that a witness in Pittsburgh, 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.
So, it shouldn't be startling that civil depositions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania can typically go on for several days. If you are subpoenaed for a deposition in , Pennsylvania, you are normally obligated to appear. This can be a source of some inconvenience.
To help deal with this fact, Pittsburgh, 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.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania depositions, everyone being deposed is under oath. This means that you are legally and morally obligated to answer every question truthfully. If you deliberately misrepresent your knowledge (lie), you are guilty of perjury. And if you're caught, you could end up facing jail time and/or some extremely steep fines.
How Can A Pittsburgh, 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 time, already be represented by a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney. You should do whatever they tell you to do (unless, of course, they tell you to lie, in that case you should find a new lawyer).
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 Pittsburgh, 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.