What does it mean to get deposed? (2023)

Asked by: Claire Leuschke II

Score: 4.6/5 (56 votes)

A deposition in the law of the United States, or examination for discovery in the law of Canada, involves the taking of sworn, out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that may be reduced to a written transcript for later use in court or for discovery purposes.

What happens when you get deposed?

When you are deposed, you will be brought into a room with attorneys from both sides, sworn in, and a court reporter will record every word you say as you are grilled by lawyers. You will be asked to recall minute details regarding an incident that might have happened months ago.

What does it mean for a person to be deposed?

The act of questioning a deponent under oath, either a witness or a party to a lawsuit, at a deposition. Such an action is taken during the pre-trial discovery process.

What does it mean to be deposed in a court case?

Legal Definition of depose

transitive verb. 1 : to testify to under oath or by sworn affidavit. 2 : to take testimony from especially by deposition plaintiffs… were entitled to depose experts retained by the defendants — National Law Journal — compare examine. intransitive verb.

What is the main purpose of a deposition?

As discussed previously, the main purpose of a deposition is to gather evidence in the form of testimony to be used at trial. The deposition is evidence that can be used to structure a case, cross-examine a witness, or even disqualify a witness based on contradictory statements.

33 related questions found

What should you not say during a deposition?

8 Things Not Say During a Deposition

  • Never Guess to Answer a Question.
  • Avoid Any Absolute Statements.
  • Do Not Use Profanity.
  • Do Not Provide Additional Information.
  • Avoid Making Light of the Situation.
  • Never Paraphrase a Conversation.
  • Do Not Argue or Act Aggressively.
  • Avoid Providing Privileged Information.

Can a case be settled at a deposition?

Yes, it can. Most depositions won't be used for more than leverage to reach a settlement before a case goes to trial. A deposition can be used as evidence in court, but a settlement is usually the goal.

Can you be deposed twice?

There are times when someone may be required to participate in a second deposition, but in the State of California, this generally requires a court order. It may happen if there is a new party that is later added to the case after the original depositions were completed.

Are all witnesses deposed?

You do not have to depose all witnesses on the same day. Depositions might happen over the span of several different dates. Although the judge is not present during the deposition, sometimes a judge will be “on call” in case there are disputes over any questions, but this is typically only in high profile cases.

Do I have to agree to be deposed?

However, as a general rule, you must agree to participate in a deposition. Refusing a deposition can result in serious implications legally and financially. Legal depositions do not have to be an intimidating process.

Are depositions scary?

Will a lawyer grill you for information? The truth of the matter is that depositions are not nearly as scary as you might think. While depositions can be awkward and there might be some difficult questions for you to answer, if you have a good lawyer preparing you for the deposition, you will be fine.

Who can depose?

Any party to the case can be deposed during the discovery phase. A party can be either a person or an organization. In the event that the party is an organization, employees or other people with knowledge of the events may be deposed.

Is a deposition testimony?

A deposition is a witness's sworn out-of-court testimony. It is used to gather information as part of the discovery process and, in limited circumstances, may be used at trial. The witness being deposed is called the "deponent."

How do you beat a deposition?

9 Tips for a Successful Deposition

  1. Prepare. ...
  2. Tell the Truth. ...
  3. Be Mindful of the Transcript. ...
  4. Answer Only the Question Presented. ...
  5. Answer Only as to What You Know. ...
  6. Stay Calm. ...
  7. Ask to See Exhibits. ...
  8. Don't Be Bullied.

How many times can you be deposed?

The general rule is that a plaintiff is only required to give one deposition. The same rule applies if there is one defendant or five. When your lawyer schedules your deposition, he or she will coordinate with each defendant. You only have to appear for one deposition.

How long does a deposition last?

Typically, the length of a deposition is based upon the complexity of the issues of the case. It varies depending on the deponent, and it varies depending upon the lawyers. For some depositions, one of our plaintiff clients could be over in an hour and a half or two hours, or they could go for a day or two.

Can anyone be deposed?

Who Can be Deposed? Any witnesses with knowledge of the facts of a case can be deposed. This can include defendants, employees of a defendant (if the suit is being brought against an entity), former employees, as well as other witnesses.

How much does a deposition cost?

The costs of the deposition depends on the length, the number of attorneys, and the current court reporter rate. A rule of thumb is the court reporter will charge $3.00 to $8.00 per page. So, in a 6-hour deposition the cost would be estimated at 75 pages per hour at a cost of $1300 to $3600 dollars.

What are the rules of a deposition?

Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, a deposition is limited to 1 day of 7 hours. The court must allow additional time consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and (2) if needed to fairly examine the deponent or if the deponent, another person, or any other circumstance impedes or delays the examination.

Can I refuse to answer questions at a deposition?

Can I refuse to answer questions at a deposition? In most cases, a deponent cannot refuse to answer a question at a deposition unless the answer would reveal privileged or irrelevant private information or the court previously ordered that the information cannot be revealed (source).

Why would a deposition be Cancelled?

As stated above, there are only a few reasons why a deposition is canceled entirely. One reason would be that a settlement has been reached and they no longer need your statement. Another, more macabre, reason is that someone has died, gotten seriously injured, or fallen gravely ill.

Can a witness be called twice?

You may call, if you have disclosed them, any witnesses for your case in chief. You have to provide notice and subpoenas as necessary under the governing courtroom rules where the trial is being held. Make sure to comply with every...

What is the next step after a deposition?

Often, a deponent reveals information that requires additional follow-up. For instance, an attorney might learn that he needs to verify facts, obtain additional documents, or speak to additional witnesses in order to proceed with the lawsuit. In this situation, the next step will be to conduct further discovery.

What is a good settlement offer?

One of those factors is the ability to prove liability on the part of the defendant who is offering to settle the case. ... Another factor is the ability of that defendant to prove that another party or even the plaintiff himself is partly responsible for the injuries in the case.

What's next after deposition?

After the deposition, the court reporter will create a transcript of the testimonies so the lawyers, judge, and jury have a written document to reference for the information gathered. If your lawyers feel like they did not get enough information from the deposition, they will call more witnesses to be deposed.


What does it mean to get deposed? ›

Depose refers to the act of questioning a deponent under oath, either a witness or a party to a lawsuit, at a deposition. Deposing occurs during the pre-trial discovery process.

How do you answer a deposition question? ›

What follows are numerous points or rules to keep in mind throughout the deposition.
  1. Tell the truth. ...
  2. Think before you speak. ...
  3. Answer the question. ...
  4. Do not volunteer information. ...
  5. Do not answer a question you do not understand. ...
  6. Talk in full, complete sentences. ...
  7. You only know what you have seen or heard. ...
  8. Do not guess.

Do I have to answer every question in a deposition? ›

You do not have to answer all of the questions presented in a deposition, however, you may be compelled to answer if the judge overrules the objection. Questions that you don't need to be answered typically fall into three categories: Private information -- questions about health, sexuality, religious beliefs.

What is an example of deposed? ›

to remove someone important from a powerful position: Gingrich was deposed as Speaker of the House after the election in 1998. King Charles I was deposed from the English throne in 1646.

What is the difference between deposed and disposed? ›

The word depose is derived from the Old French word deposer meaning to place down. Dispose means to throw something away, to get rid of something by giving it away or selling it. Dispose may also mean to overcome something or to kill someone.

Is a deposition a good thing? ›

Taking depositions is one of the most common methods of discovery, as statements given under oath enables parties to know in advance what a witness will say at a trial.

What to expect when you get deposed? ›

The Deposition Process

You should expect to see attorneys from both sides present, as well as a court reporter. All deposed witnesses swear an oath to answer questions truthfully before the deposition begins. Everyone present is informed of the rules. Next comes the direct examination portion of the deposition.

Can I decline to answer a question in a deposition? ›

The rules for depositions vary by state and in federal court, but generally, the deponent must answer every question presented, regardless of objection, unless the answer is protected by a privilege or a court order. A deposition will usually be taken before a court reporter authorized to administer oaths.

What not to ask at a deposition? ›

Which Questions Shouldn't I Answer in a Deposition?
  • Private information. You have a right to refuse any questions about a person's health, sexuality, or religious beliefs (including your own). ...
  • Privileged information. ...
  • Irrelevant information.

What happens if you give the wrong answer in a deposition? ›

Giving a false answer to a question would be perjury and possibly subject you to prosecution and fine or even jail. A false answer would also be detrimental to the law suit and give the other lawyer an opportunity to discredit your entire testimony.

How do you know if your deposition went well? ›

You know your deposition is going well if you are answering questions to the best of your ability according to the advice of counsel. Your lawyers are there to protect your interests and object to questions you should not answer.

What are 3 examples of deposition? ›

Deposition is the transition of a substance directly from the gas to the solid state on cooling, without passing through the liquid state. Examples: Camphor, Iodine, Ammonium Chloride, Naphthalene, etc. Q.

What is the deposition answer? ›

A deposition is testimony made under oath and taken down in writing by an authorized officer of the court, typically in an out-of-court setting and before trial.

What are some sentences for deposition? ›

She gave a videotaped deposition about what she saw that night. His attorneys took depositions from the witnesses.

What does depose evidence mean? ›

law to testify or give (evidence, etc) on oath, esp when taken down in writing; make a deposition.

What does deposed mean in a court of law? ›

For purposes of this section, "undisposed case" shall mean a criminal action or proceeding identified in the division's criminal history record repository, for which there is no record of an unexecuted warrant of arrest, superior court warrant of arrest, or bench warrant, and for which no record of conviction or ...

Why would someone be deposed? ›

A deposition is a witness's sworn out-of-court testimony. It is used to gather information as part of the discovery process and, in limited circumstances, may be used at trial. The witness being deposed is called the "deponent."

What does disposed mean in law? ›

The disposition on a criminal record is the current status or final outcome of an arrest or prosecution. Common dispositions are: Convicted: means you have plead or been found guilty by a court of law. Acquitted: means you have been found not guilty by a court of law in a criminal trial.

Does disposed mean thrown away? ›

phrasal verb. If you dispose of something that you no longer want or need, you throw it away.

How do you win a deposition? ›

Deposition Tips
  1. Be prepared. ...
  2. Think before answering. ...
  3. Never volunteer information. ...
  4. Make sure you understand the question. ...
  5. You must tell the truth. ...
  6. Don't get rattled or upset. ...
  7. Don't guess. ...
  8. If you do not remember, say so.

Can you say no to giving a deposition? ›

In the case of a deposition, since it must be requested through the issuance of a subpoena, choosing to not give testimony when formally requested may result in punishment for contempt of court, under the provision of Rule CR 37.

What is most likely to happen during deposition? ›

A deposition is the pre-trial taking of sworn testimony outside of the courtroom about the facts related to a case. This is an opportunity for both parties to meet and ask questions of the opposing side, obtaining answers and statements relevant to the case.

Should I be nervous about a deposition? ›

Don't Fear Depositions

In many cases, depositions can lead to settlements, avoiding the necessity of trial. Think of it as a necessary but important step in the process of getting justice and fair reparation for your injuries.

How stressful are depositions? ›

Depositions often take a long time. They can be boring, and they can be stressful. This can throw a person giving a deposition off their game and lead to them answering more than what was asked. If you are not asked about something, do not volunteer any information.

Do both sides ask questions in a deposition? ›

Depositions are used to lay out the basic information in the case, involving questions that are asked by lawyers on both sides. These depositions are usually very long, such as several hours, because the lawyers involved are trying to get as much information as possible about what witnesses know.

Who asks questions first in a deposition? ›

Usually the person who requested the deposition will ask questions first. The attorney who represents the person being deposed might ask follow-up questions only to clear up any misunderstandings that may have come up during the initial questioning.

Can you ask personal questions in deposition? ›

They can ask anything they want, including lots of embarrassing and personal stuff. At trial, they can point out differences between what you said at the deposition and what you say at trial, so don't say anything unless you are sure about it.

What do you say in court when you don't want to answer? ›

Good ways to say anything but "No Comment" to questions you really don't want to answer: "I'm sorry but I'm not able to speak to that subject" "Thanks for asking but I'm not able to answer that question" "I'm sorry but that information is proprietary"

How do you survive a deposition? ›

How to Survive a Deposition
  1. Make Sure You Understand the Question. Never answer a question unless you fully understand it. ...
  2. Pause and Think Before Answering. ...
  3. Never Volunteer Information. ...
  4. If You Don't Remember, Say So. ...
  5. Do Not Guess. ...
  6. Don't Fall for the Silent Treatment. ...
  7. Stick to Your Answers. ...
  8. Always Read the Fine Print.

How do you defend against a deposition? ›

You may make any of the following types of objections when defending a deposition:
  1. Objections to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition.
  2. Objections to the manner of taking the deposition.
  3. Objections to the evidence presented (e.g., to the form of the question)
  4. Objections to the conduct of any party.
May 6, 2022

Can you plead the fifth in a deposition? ›

The general rule is that if you plead the Fifth in discovery, you cannot change your answer later and waive your Fifth Amendment privilege at trial. So, if you plead the Fifth in discovery, whether in writing or in a deposition, you may be stuck with your answer, even if you didn't do anything wrong.

What color to wear to deposition? ›

Think business casual. In most cases, slacks (black, brown, or khaki) and a long-sleeved dress shirt are the best option for a deposition. Not too casual. Do not wear jeans, shorts, sneakers, sandals, or head wear.

Can you read from notes in a deposition? ›

You should not bring any notes, diaries, or other records to help you state your case during a deposition unless they have been thoroughly reviewed by your attorney. This is because any document you produce may be examined by the opposing counsel, and can potentially be used against you.

Can you change your answer after a deposition? ›

The simple answer to if you can change your answers on your deposition is, yes, you can change your answers at any time. The biggest issue with a deposition is that you're not getting a list of questions that the other side is going to ask you in advance.

Can you refuse to answer questions as a witness? ›

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007.) If a witness refuses to answer a question or to produce evidence based on a claim of the privilege against self-incrimination, a judge may grant immunity to the witness under (c) or (d) and order the question answered or the evidence produced.

How do you calm nerves for a deposition? ›

What follows are some useful tips that I give to my clients to prepare them for their deposition.
  1. Always tell the truth. … ...
  2. Keep calm. ...
  3. Take your time. ...
  4. Remember the transcript. ...
  5. Be polite. … ...
  6. Don't answer a question if you don't understand it.
Jul 20, 2015

What are 4 things that cause deposition? ›

Deposition is the laying down of sediment carried by wind, flowing water, the sea or ice. Sediment can be transported as pebbles, sand and mud, or as salts dissolved in water. Salts may later be deposited by organic activity (e.g. as sea shells) or by evaporation.

What are the 2 main types of deposition? ›

Types of depositional environments

Fluvial – Processes associated with rivers and streams – processes due to moving water, mainly streams. Common sediments are gravel, sand, and silt. Lacustrine – sediment deposited by a lake – processes due to moving water, mainly lakes. Common sediments are sand, silt, and clay.

What is the difference between a subpoena and a deposition? ›

A subpoena is a legal document that “orders” someone to appear either at a court, or in this case, a deposition. A deposition is essentially an interview between the opposing side's lawyer and yourself.

What's it mean to be deposed? ›

Depose refers to the act of questioning a deponent under oath, either a witness or a party to a lawsuit, at a deposition. Deposing occurs during the pre-trial discovery process.

What is the main process of deposition? ›

Deposition is the geological process in which sediments, soil and rocks are added to a landform or landmass. Wind, ice, water, and gravity transport previously weathered surface material, which, at the loss of enough kinetic energy in the fluid, is deposited, building up layers of sediment.

Why is it called the deposition? ›

The Deposition is the name given to a representation of Christ being brought down from (the descent from) the cross upon which he had been crucified.

What is the difference between depose and testify? ›

Unlike a deposition, which allows for a more probing inquiry and compels you to answer, your attorney can object to inappropriate questions if you are testifying. When an objection is raised, the judge will decide whether you must answer.

What does deposed mean in office? ›

transitive verb. 1. to remove from office or position, esp. high office. The people deposed the dictator.

Is being deposed stressful? ›

However, for a first-time litigant or witness, the prospect of a deposition (or “being deposed”) can be a scary and stressful experience. Depositions typically take place in the offices of one of the attorneys in the case. Although an informal setting, a deposition is a formal question-and-answer session.

What should you not say during a deposition? ›

Speaking in Absolutes

Using terms like “never” and “always” in your deposition answers may do more harm than good. Answering questions with these terms may make it sound like you are being definitive about various topics.

Can you be deposed twice? ›

(a) Once any party has taken the deposition of any natural person, including that of a party to the action, neither the party who gave, nor any other party who has been served with a deposition notice pursuant to Section 2025.240 may take a subsequent deposition of that deponent.

Is a deposition the same as a subpoena? ›

A subpoena is a legal document that “orders” someone to appear either at a court, or in this case, a deposition. A deposition is essentially an interview between the opposing side's lawyer and yourself. Effectively reading the deposition subpoena is the first step in preparing for your deposition.

What is a synonym for the word depose? ›

synonyms for depose
  • demote.
  • dethrone.
  • dismiss.
  • impeach.
  • overthrow.
  • unseat.
  • bounce.
  • break.

What does duly deposed mean? ›

The term duly sworn refers to having been put under oath, before an officer authorized to administer oaths, in the manner and form required by law. To "depose" is merely to state or affirm some matter of fact in an affidavit or deposition.

Can you say I don't remember in a deposition? ›

"I don't recall" is often the most truthful answer if you're not sure. Then if the document shows up, it may refresh your memory, but it doesn't contradict your sworn testimony. On the other hand, if something is fundamental and wrong, you would never have done or said that. Don't hide the truth behind memory.

What are the consequences of deposition? ›

There are several types of ecosystem effects associated with deposition that tie to the pollutant being deposited. These include acidic deposition (acid rain), excess amounts of nitrogen and heavy metals (including mercury). Related Topic: Aquatic Ecosystems Monitoring.


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