What Is A Deposition?

What is a deposition?

Many people have heard the word deposition before, but many people do not know what a deposition actually is.  In its most basic sense a deposition is an examination under oath, conducted by one party to a lawsuit against the other party to the lawsuit.  For example if you had a car accident and a lawsuit was filed you will have to give a deposition.  There are usually three parties present at a deposition:  lawyers (for both the plaintiff(s) and the defendant(s), the deponent (the person being deposed) and a stenographer.

At the beginning of the deposition the deponent is sworn in under oath by the stenographer.  Every word that is uttered at the deposition – by either the lawyers present, or the deponent – is recorded and eventually transcribed by the stenographer.  For almost all people, a deposition is a rather undesirable event because the deponent is peppered by questions from the adverse attorney.

Depositions are usually very expensive and they are only conducted when a case is in litigation.  It is important that your attorney(s) prepare you adequately for what to expect at a deposition, and to impress upon you how significant the deposition actually is.

Depositions in workers’ compensation cases are usually only taken of doctors, and not of claimants.

My friend and colleague Frank Kautz, Esq. is a general practitioner in Massachusetts and he has compiled a very useful set of materials to help people adequately prepare for a deposition.  Please click here for this very important and very useful set of materials.

If you have further questions concerning depositions in the context of personal injury law in Massachusetts, I invite you to contact me.