Basic Facts About Depositions

Both of the parties in a given lawsuit use depositions. A deposition serves as a tool for obtaining information from the other side. That tool aids creation of out-of-court testimony from various witnesses, each of which has made a statement under oath.

A deposition’s principle features

• It takes place at a scheduled time, and in a pre-arranged location.
• Depositions get scheduled during the discovery phase of a given case.
• During the deposition, an attorney for one of the disputing parties poses questions to a witness.
• Depositions last at least 4 hours. The witness can ask to take a break at any time.
• Lawyers use depositions to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their case.

Lawyers study the information given by each witness. If the same witness were to offer different information, when in the courtroom, then the other party’s attorney could highlight that fact.

Tips for witness that is going to be deposed

• Listen to the whole question, before offering an answer.
• Do not guess at an answer. Say, “I do not know,” or “I do not remember.”
• Do not offer your opinion or advice.

Learn how to establish good eye contact with the personal injury lawyer in Mississauga that is asking the questions. Avoid glaring at that same person. Instead, focus your eyes on a point between the speaker’s eyes and chin. Do not let the attorney think that you want to create a barrier. Do not fold your arms over your chest. Do not cross your legs or ankles. That can make you look defensive.

Train yourself to be aware of what you do when you get tense. Work on controlling the mannerisms that typically get displayed when you become tense. Try to relax. If you can demonstrate a relaxed way of talking and moving, then you will appear to have good self-esteem.

Standard areas for questions

• Background information: the witness’ name, address and phone number; the witness’ job or occupation.
• Information on any prior accidents in which the witness was involved
• An effort to obtain details on the current accident, the one that caused the personal injury
• An effort to gather details on the reported injury and the treatment used during the patient’s recovery.

The impact of the reported injury on the witness’ lifestyle: What daily tasks have become more difficult? What sacrifices have been imposed upon the witness, due to the accident-acquired injury? Did the injury’s effects force the victim/witness to give up a particular activity?

Turn a possible handicap into an advantage

If the attorney introduces the fact that you (as witness) have had other accidents, explain how that has forced you to forsake some learning opportunities. Show that you have been forced to deal with an unwanted loss.

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