Crucial Questions to Ask During a Deposition
Every deposition is different, but there is some critical information that you will want
on in the transcript, no matter who is testifying. As you focus on crafting your questions for your deposition, don’t lose sight of the basic information you need the court reporter to transcribe about every witness you depose. Get ready for your deposition in San Jose by making sure these questions are on your list.
Have you ever been arrested, and if so, were you convicted?
In almost every instance, you should ask about the arrest and conviction record of every witness you depose. This information could have an impact on the case at hand, and it could call into question the reliability of a witness. The answer to these questions can also be helpful if the case goes to trial and you need to impeach a witness on the stand. You should do your own research into the arrest and conviction records of the witnesses before you depose them, so you know what to expect and can recognize any incorrect information the witness provides during the deposition.
Have you ever testified in a deposition or trial?
It is always helpful to know if a witness has testified in a case before this deposition. First, it can give you an indication of how nervous or composed the witness may be. Knowledge of past testimony experience can also give you insight into the witness’ role in past cases and if he or she was considered to be truthful. This information can help shape your approach during your deposition.
How did you prepare for this deposition?
By questioning the witness about how he or she prepared for the deposition, you can identify areas in which he or she may have underprepared, so you can focus on those parts of the case. Finding out how the witness prepared may reveal to you what parts of the case the opposing attorney views as the most important. Be sure to also ask who was present when the witness prepared with the attorney, because having a third-party present can mean that privilege was waived.
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