Depositions take place during the discovery period before the trial. The whole purpose of the deposition is for all sides, including the witnesses, to ask questions and obtain the answers that will help them better understand each side of the case and the nature of the entire case in general. The plaintiff and other witnesses will testify under oath during the deposition process.
If you’ve ever been summoned for a deposition, you have to appear in court at a certain time on a particular day and give testimony under oath in the presence of a court reporter. The reporter will make an official record of your deposition.
The most common time for depositions is during the discovery – the pre-trial – phase. Expect the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s lawyers to ask you questions during the deposition.
Making a Witness Attend a Deposition
With a few exceptions, you can ask anyone who may have knowledge of your case and whose testimony could affect the outcome of the case in your favor, to attend a deposition. Don’t expect most people to attend a deposition unless summoned though. You can legally force someone to attend a deposition by subpoenaing that person.
You have to have a subpoena physically served to the person though. You’ll generally have to hire a process server to do that. When a person gets a subpoena, he or she is essentially ordered to appear at a specific court on a certain day and during a specific time period to provide witness testimony that will support your side of the story.
Note that the courts can file a motion to quash or modify the subpoena. It can be because you didn’t give the person a reasonable amount of time to respond to the subpoena.
Why Would You Even Want a Subpoena?
That’s a good question to ask, and the answer is because you want to obtain important facts about a case. Other reasons to get a subpoena are:
• Get evidence about the strengths and weaknesses of each party involved in the case.
• Determine the credibility of the witnesses testifying
• Understand how and when the accident occurred.
How do Depositions Work in an Injury Case
You have to follow court rules and give all parties involved sufficient notice before you serve a subpoena. That said, you can have the deposition take place anywhere. You just have to have a court recorder present.
Your personal injury lawyer in Oakville may start to ask questions and the other party’s lawyer may ask follow-up questions. The opposing lawyer may object to questions that your lawyer asks and vice versa. A judge never intervenes, but every objection is officially recorded. If you’ve been subpoenaed, note that you have to answer the questions to the best of your ability. As mentioned earlier, depositions are used to obtain information that will help your side of the case.