Depositions are used by both sides in the litigation process to gather information about a pending case. A deposition is part of the formal discovery process by which the opposing side or both sides are given the opportunity to examine and cross-examine witnesses under oath. A deposition transcript can be used for many purposes including: cross-examination at trial, in lieu of testimony during a trial or other proceeding, as an admission of party, as support for or against a motion for summary judgment. The witness or deponent generally falls into one of three categories: party, fact witness (lay and professional), and expert witness.
Let’s assume you are a party to the litigation. This means you are either a plaintiff or in most cases the defendant. Let’s further assume the case involves some form of medical malpractice or a civil rights claim (42 USC § 1983) involving deliberate indifference. As a healthcare professional you will generally either be a party to the litigation or one of the treating professionals. In either case, counsel wants to narrow down your testimony and determine what if any involvement you had with the case. The big question is, What do I need to do to be prepared for the deposition?
At Chapman Law Group we generally meet with our clients at least three times prior to the deposition.
During the deposition a member of Chapman Law Group will be with you. If the opposing counsel asks inappropriate questions we will object on your behalf. At times we may instruct you not to answer the question. It is important to know that Chapman Law Group will be with you at every stage of the process to ensure the questioning is fair, within the boundaries of the law, and that you are given an opportunity to explain your answers.
If you are facing a deposition for any reason and do not have counsel, please feel free to call Chapman Law Group. Remember, the deposition is your sworn statement and being prepared is a joint responsibility between you and your counsel.
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