Definition - What does Deposition mean?

A deposition is a written copy of a witness statement. It can be taken prior to a court case if a witness is not able to attend or it can be taken from the stand when they are able. Depositions are used in both criminal and civil cases. Depositions are considered to be part of the discovery process. They are created in a question and answer format. This is done by an attorney asking questions of the witness and the witness answering while under oath. It is recorded by a court reporter.

Within a court setting, a stenographer will record depositions. If they are recorded before court due to the witness being unable to attend, they are written up by the assistant of the inquiring attorney.

Justipedia explains Deposition

Depositions usually take place after the discovery process when both sides have full knowledge of the case at hand. This is done as a matter of fairness and to ensure the comprehensiveness of the deposition. Both sides are allowed to ask questions during the deposition. If it is not done within the courtroom setting, it is usually done in one of the attorneys' offices. Questions that might not be allowed within a normal court setting, such as hearsay, are usually permitted within depositions because there is latitude to allow for the likelihood that these types of admissions could lead to more substantive evidence. Attorneys may still object to questions that are asked during a deposition.
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