Litigation Lawyers in Williamsport
Depositions are part of the discovery process in Williamsport, Pennsylvania civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a process that occurs before a trial in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. During the discovery process, both sides are required to make relevant information available to each other.
One of the most effective ways to acquire information relevant to a lawsuit in Williamsport, 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 Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Depositions in Williamsport, Pennsylvania are meant to get verbal testimony on the record and into evidence, when there is concern that the person 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.
Civil Depositions in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, can take a very long time to be completed, usually lasting several days, and sometimes going on for weeks. So, people who are called to give depositions in Williamsport, Pennsylvania should be prepared for some significant inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Williamsport, Pennsylvania allows 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 certain way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
If you are called to a deposition in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, it's absolutely essential that you answer all the questions truthfully, to the best of your knowledge. When testifying in a deposition, you are under oath, just as you would be in open court. Deliberately lying in a deposition is perjury, which is a serious crime.
How Can A Williamsport, 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 point, already be represented by a Williamsport, Pennsylvania civil litigation attorney. You should do whatever they tell you to do (unless, of course, they tell you to lie, in which case you should find a new lawyer).
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 Williamsport, 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.