Litigation Lawyers in Watertown
Depositions are part of the discovery process in Watertown, South Dakota civil litigation.
In Watertown, South Dakota, "discovery" is a time-consuming procedure that occurs before a case goes to trial. In the process, each side of the lawsuit is legally required to disclose all of the relevant information they have in their possession to the other side.
In Watertown, South Dakota, one way to acquire relevant evidence is to ask persons 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 Watertown, South Dakota
Depositions are typically conducted in Watertown, South Dakota if a person's testimony will take several days, or more, to deliver. By doing this before a trial, the jury can be presented just with the testimony that turns out to be relevant, saving everybody a good deal of time. It is also useful if there is any reason to suspect that the witness will be unable to show up in court.
Civil Depositions in Watertown, South Dakota, can take a very long time to be completed, typically lasting several days, and sometimes going on for weeks. So, people who are called to give depositions in Watertown, South Dakota should be prepared for some substantial inconvenience.
To mitigate this, the law of Watertown, South Dakota typically entitles people being deposed to reimbursement. They can be compensated for travel expenses, lodging, and a can be given a small amount of money simply for their time. However, this is meant to be reimbursement for the time and expense incurred in attending a deposition, and it is most definitely not payment for the witness to give testimony that's advantageous to one side or the other.
Remember, when you give a deposition in Watertown, South Dakota, you're under oath. This means that you are under an absolute obligation 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 Watertown, South Dakota Lawyer Help?
If you're a party to a Watertown, South Dakota lawsuit and are required to appear at a deposition, one would hope that you've already retained a lawyer by this stage in the proceedings. Your attorney will have a lot of advice for you, which you should of course follow.
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 probably don't need to hire a Watertown, South Dakota 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.