Litigation Lawyers in El Paso
Depositions are part of the discovery process in El Paso, Texas civil litigation.
In El Paso, Texas, "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.
One of the most effective ways to acquire information relevant to a lawsuit in El Paso, Texas 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 El Paso, Texas
If the parties believe that a witness in El Paso, Texas won't be able to show up in court to testify during trial, because of age, poor health, upcoming military deployment, potential incarceration, or any other reason, a deposition is a very good way to get their testimony on the record before the trial. Also, if they have to be questioned for several days, it is a good way to save the court's time.
It should not be any surprise, then, that civil depositions in El Paso, Texas can go on for a very long time. If you are called to appear in a deposition in El Paso, Texas, this can be a major headache.
Because of this fact, the law in El Paso, Texas 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.
In El Paso, Texas 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 very steep fines.
How Can A El Paso, Texas 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 an El Paso, Texas 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 you are not a party to the case, but are subpoenaed to testify in a deposition, you should at least consult with an El Paso, Texas attorney, who can advise you on how to proceed.