Diving Deeper with Depositions

Discovery is an ongoing process. Often times, little snippets of information provided in one stage of Discovery will spark a deeper investigation to gather more substance on the subject. In domestic cases, Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents often uncover bits of evidence that the opposing party will want to learn more about prior to settling or going to trial. There are two types of Discovery that may be used to delve deeper into one or more topics that are relevant to your domestic situation.

1.Depositions— A deposition is basically an interview conducted under oath. Depositions usually take place at an attorney’s office, and the opposing party’s attorney has a great bit of freedom to ask you questions, which you are required to answer. Everything said during a Deposition is written down by a Court Reporter, and turned into a written transcript which can later be used in court. Depositions may be videotaped, and the tapes may later be played before a judge.

If you get to the point where Depositions are being used it could be a sign that the stakes are high in your case. The important thing to remember is that a Deposition is under oath. As the saying goes, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.  A Deposition is not the place to brag about an extramarital affair, or gloat about an offshore account. The opposing party will study the written deposition prior to a trial, and then may use the transcript to try to trip you up in front of the Judge. Be honest, be curt, and seek the advice of an attorney prior to your Deposition.

2. Records Depositions— A Records Deposition is actually more similar to a Request for Production of Documents than it is to an interview Deposition. Records Depositions are typically used when you need to gather information from someone other than the opposing party in your case. For instance, if you are involved in a custody dispute and the opposing party mentions in a response to Interrogatories that your child’s teacher has made notes related to your child’s feelings about living with you—you may use a Records Deposition to request that the teacher provide copies of those notes. A Notice of Records Deposition and a subpoena are served on the person from whom the records are sought, and then that person has 30 days to provide copies of the requested documents, or provide a time and location for you to inspect and copy the requested documents.

Records Depositions are a great strategic tool that allow you to gather information you need, without having to deal directly with the opposing party.

This is the fourth in an ongoing series about Discovery. Next week we will wrap up this series with an explanation of Admissions. As always, we here at Delaney & Keffler, LLC will take the time to fully explain Discovery, and help you obtain beneficial information. Contact us today at 410-535-3476  (FIRM) or welcome@delaneykeffler.com for a free consultation.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Leave a response: