How to Prepare For Your Family Law Deposition
Before we get to the preparation for a Family Law deposition, let’s talk briefly about what the deposition is and what it’s for. A deposition is just another part of the discovery process before trial. It is used to gather information about the case and to give all the parties an opportunity to learn about the case so that there are no surprises when it comes to trial.
In a deposition, the responses given to questioning are going to be under oath in front of a court reporter. The reporter will swear you in and will transcribe everything that is being said. The transcription preserves the testimony that you are giving and it may be used in trial. Generally speaking depositions last up to four hours, they can last longer if there’s a motion before the court or if there’s an agreement between both sides. The important thing that I want you to remember about a deposition is that if you are the one that is being deposed, you are being asked questions that are going to be used against you at trial to help the other side’s case. So be very careful with the information that you give and the manner in which you give the information.
Preparing for your Deposition
There are many things that you can do to prepare for a deposition, but the following is what I consider to be the most important things for you to remember when you are getting ready to be deposed.
- First and foremost is always be truthful
Remember that you are under oath and that lying in a deposition will hurt your case. It also constitutes perjury which is a felony. So try to be truthful always.
- Listen carefully to the question that is being asked
It’s okay for you to ask for them to repeat the question and for you to say “I don’t understand the question, can you please rephrase the question.” That is totally acceptable. Never answer a question if you don’t understand it completely.
- When a question is being asked, pause
Pause before you answer the question. This will give you an opportunity to think about the question and how want to answer the question. And it will also give your attorney time to object to the question if it is necessary.
- Don’t volunteer any information
Only answer the question that is being asked as quickly and as succinctly as possible. Do not explain, do not give stories, do not give any additional information other than answer the question that is being asked.
- Remember that you can always take a break
At any time, you can ask to speak to your attorney privately if you need to discuss the question that is being asked and the question that you’re about to give. You have that right so take advantage of that right.
- Be calm and be polite
In responding to the questions that are being asked of you, try to answer calmly. It may be the other attorney’s manner, or maybe it’s part of their case, to try to get you to be confused when they ask a question, to try to get you to get upset, get angry and lose your cool. So just always remain calm, always remain in control, do not lose your temper. Let your attorney be there to object to any inappropriate questions or inappropriate behavior from the other side.
Keeping these tips in mind should help to make your deposition go as smoothly as is possible. If you have questions or would like to discuss a specific Family Law matter in more detail, do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a meeting. Contact us at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.