A deposition is just testimony under oath, and it helps aid an investigation. People are typically deposed in an attorney’s office or a courthouse conference room. If it’s your first time attending, there are some things you should know especially deposition and court etiquette.
Learn these court etiquette:
Knowledge is Power
If you are prepared with knowledge, you’ll be less likely to get nervous or confused. You should know who will be there and what their roles are. You should be prepared with the facts of the case and a list of question that you want to be answered, under oath. Talk with an attorney prior, so they can give you an idea of what to expect.
There will be a Court Reporter
There will be someone there to record the entire process. The court reporter will not speak during the deposition, they are simply there to ensure the conversation is documented. A court reporter is not always required but they can be very helpful.
Expect a Broad Scope of Questions
Lawyer’s tend to ask a broad range of questions. Asking various questions in different ways will help obtain all of the facts. Having those participating an investigation testify under oath ensures there will be no embellishment or exaggeration.
You should arrive at the deposition on time, especially if you are being deposed. You want to set the right tone. Be professional and respectable.
You must be honest and transparent during a deposition, so have your facts straight. If you don’t have an answer, say so. Some attorneys will ask the same question in a couple of different ways, this is standard practice to extract as much detail as possible. Be actively listening and pay attention to every part of the question so you can answer correctly and consistently.
It can sometimes feel like a deposition is taking longer than anticipated or the questions are irrelevant. Be courteous and professional. Answers all questions asked of you to the best of your ability and consult your attorney, if needed.
Make a good impression by dressing professionally, show that you are taking the deposition seriously. Dress for a deposition the same way you’d dress to appear in court.
Participating in a deposition for the first time can be intimidating. After you’ve participated in a few, you’ll see how helpful they can be for completing an investigation. Prior to a deposition, speak with your attorney so you can get an idea of what to expect.