Litigation Lawyers in Bellingham
Civil depositions happen during Bellingham, Washington civil litigation, as part of the discovery procedure.
In Bellingham, Washington, "discovery" is a procedure that happens before a civil trial, during which both sides are obligated to disclose relevant evidence to the other.
One way to obtain this information in Bellingham, Washington is to conduct a deposition. A deposition, at its core, is a fairly simple process. A deposition is a question and answer session conducted outside the courtroom. Typically, it takes place in the office space of an attorney representing one of the parties. There are a few people who are almost always present at the deposition: there's the person being deposed, the lawyer who is going to be asking the questions, a lawyer representing the other side of the lawsuit, who can object to any questions being asked (a judge can rule on the objections later), and a court reporter or video recorder, to ensure that the testimony ends up on the record.
Conducting A Civil Deposition in Bellingham, Washington
In Bellingham, Washington, the main reason to conduct a deposition, as opposed to having someone testify in court, is to save time. After days of depositions, the jury can be presented with just the relevant testimony, if the case goes to trial. Additionally, it's a good idea to conduct a deposition if there's any reason to believe that the witness will not be able to show up to court to testify, due to bad health, or any other reason.
So, it shouldn't be startling that civil depositions in Bellingham, Washington can typically go on for several days. If you are subpoenaed for a deposition in , Washington, you are typically obligated to appear. This can be a source of some inconvenience.
Because of this fact, the law in Bellingham, Washington 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.
If you are being deposed in Bellingham, Washington you absolutely must answer all the questions truthfully and completely, to the best of your knowledge. You are under oath, and if you lie, and are caught, you could be prosecuted with perjury, which can carry jail time.
How Can A Bellingham, Washington Lawyer Help?
If you're a party to a Bellingham, Washington lawsuit and are obligated 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 are not a party to the lawsuit, but are subpoenaed to testify in a deposition, you should at least contact with a Bellingham, Washington attorney, who can advise you on how to proceed.