There is a pretty good chance you have never been deposed before. So, here is a little bit about what to expect at your first deposition.
Most of the time, depositions will occur at a court reporter’s office. However, they may be online since we are still in the days of Covid. Make sure you know where you are expected to be and do not try to change plans last minute.
If you are expected to be in person, prepare accordingly and arrive a few minutes early.
If you are scheduled to appear online, test out the link to the deposition ahead of time to ensure that your video and audio are working. You must be seen during the deposition, even if it is online. Prepare to be wherever you begin the deposition for the full amount of time reserved. Make sure that you are in a quiet, private place for the deposition.
While what you wear is not particularly important, the attorneys and court reporter will likely be wearing professional business attire (suits, ties, etc.), as they would dress for court. Dressing similarly, especially if you appear in person, would not feel out of place. If you are appearing online, it is essential to look professional, at least from the waist and up, as that is likely the online area that will be seen.
3. On the Record
Like testifying in court, everything you say at the deposition will be on the record.
You’ll be asked to show your ID at the beginning of the deposition so your identity can be verified. Bring your driver’s license or another approved form of identification! You will also be required to take an oath before the deposition may begin. The oath administered during a deposition is the same one administered in court – take it seriously.
The court reporter, a person hired to take down everything that was said, will create a transcript that you may elect to review after the deposition takes place so you can make typographical changes. You cannot change the content of your testimony after the deposition concludes.
4. Answering Questions
Be prepared to answer any questions the attorneys may ask you. Take your time and make sure your responses are accurate and respectful. They may be used in court later.
To ensure your responses can be written down accurately, be sure to articulate your answers and refrain from using ambiguous responses like shaking your head or saying “mhmmm.” If you are not clear, the court reporter will likely remind you of this and ask you to clarify.
If you have any questions, you can ask your lawyer. The lawyers at Thompson, Crawford, Brown & Smiley have taken and defended against hundreds of depositions, and we are ready to advise you – give us a call today at 850-386-5777!