A deposition is sworn out-of-court testimony that witnesses provide before a trial. When conducted properly, a deposition can boost your credibility and provide important evidence in your favor. Below are some basic tips for having a successful deposition:
- Dress properly — Depositions often take place in professional settings such as law firms, and individuals who dress appropriately tend to be taken more seriously. Also, in many cases, a deposition is going to be your first encounter with opposing counsel and your attire may affect the tone and nature of questioning. For example, wearing a pressed button down shirt and slacks tends to make a better impression than shorts and a T-shirt. A clean, conservative dress or pantsuit tends to make a better impression than a halter top and jeans.
- Keep your wits about you — In a deposition, it is common for opposing lawyers to ask questions designed to get under your skin. When facing these types of questions, it is extremely important to stay as calm and collected as possible — and it is a good idea to pause and think before answering difficult questions. Pausing also gives your attorney an opportunity to respond and object to improper questions.
- Be concise and truthful — Depositions are sworn statements. This means that if you lie or stretch the truth, you can be subject to charges for perjury. Also, opposing counsel in a deposition often tries to use your answers to undermine your credibility — unnecessarily long answers can include details that hurt your case. You should answer as many questions as possible with a simple “yes” or “no.”
The experienced and aggressive Gwinnett and Atlanta area accident attorneys at the McGarity Group stand ready to help you through all stages of the litigation process, including your deposition.