Litigation Lawyers in Washington County
Depositions are part of the discovery procedure in Washington County, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Washington County, Pennsylvania. During the discovery process, both sides are obligated to make relevant information available to each other.
One of the most effective ways to receive information relevant to a lawsuit in Washington 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 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 Washington County, Pennsylvania
Depositions in Washington County, Pennsylvania are meant to get verbal testimony on the record and into evidence, when there is concern that the individual being deposed might be unable to show up and testify at trial, or their testimony will take far too long for them to testify at trial.
Washington County, 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 Washington County, Pennsylvania civil deposition, this could prove to be incredibly inconvenient.
To help deal with this fact, Washington County, 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 Washington County, 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 Washington County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you are the plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit, you almost definitely already have a Washington County, 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 Washington County, 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.