Litigation Lawyers in Charleston
Depositions are part of the discovery procedure in Charleston, South Carolina civil litigation.
"Discovery" is a procedure that happens before a trial in Charleston, South Carolina. 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 Charleston, South Carolina 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 Charleston, South Carolina
If the parties believe that a witness in Charleston, South Carolina 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. Additionally, 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 astonishing that civil depositions in Charleston, South Carolina can generally go on for several days. If you are subpoenaed for a deposition in , South Carolina, you are typically obligated to appear. This can be a source of some inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Charleston, South Carolina permits 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 specific way ceases to be compensation, and becomes bribery, which is a crime.
Remember, when you give a deposition in Charleston, South Carolina, 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 Charleston, South Carolina Lawyer Help?
If you are a party to a lawsuit, and are subpoenaed to a deposition, chances are you're already represented by a , South Carolina attorney. Obviously, you should follow their advice with respect to the deposition.
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 Charleston, South Carolina 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.