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The Deposition: the New Battleground

These days, as trials become less and less common, civil litigants tend to find new playing fields on which to test their adversarial mettle. The most common of these is known as the deposition.

A deposition is an important discovery tool in which a litigant forces another person--an individual or business entity--to sit down and answer a long series of questions about the lawsuit. During the process, a court reporter takes down every word that is exchanged, and later creates a transcript of the exchange which can be used for evidentiary purposes at a later date.

Depositions are critical events in virtually every civil suit because they typically result in an evidence record that is rich with critical facts. The questions are asked directly to the witness or party, and the other lawyers have a very limited ability to filter the information during the deposition process. Depositions will sometimes last quite a long time--even up to several days in some very unique cases!

Depositions can be approached in a number of different ways, and your method for taking a deposition depends upon what you intend to get out of it. If your goal is to take evidence for use in a later motion, you may not want to be too confrontational with the witness. On the other hand, if you wish to display strength to the opposition in order to compel them to settle, then a more adversarial approach may be preferred.

Depositions require diligent and careful planning. Often, you'll want key documents on hand, which you can use to interrogate the witness, refresh their memory, and possibly to impeach.

Ultimately, the depositions you take can either make or break your case. Having a carefully crafted strategy for each and every one of them is absolutely critical. If you need assistance with your deposition, you should call the skilled civil litigation attorneys at Asheville Legal today.

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