How to Prepare for a Deposition in Florida
In the unfortunate circumstance that an employment dispute leads to a lawsuit and trial, it is necessary for both employees and employers to make certain preparations. The deposition process is one aspect of the pre-trial process that is particularly important.
What is a Deposition?
As explained in Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.310, a deposition is part of the preparation for a trial. Essentially, a deposition is a formal statement made under oath. The deposition is recorded and becomes part of the case record, providing factual background into the underlying legal claims.
Who Must Submit to a Deposition?
Any person with knowledge pertaining to the legal case may be deposed. During the deposition, attorneys will ask the person questions about what they experienced. This allows both the plaintiff and defendant’s legal teams to collect evidence and build their respective case strategies.
What Kinds of Questions are Allowed During a Deposition?
The scope of a deposition can be extremely broad. The questions during a deposition must have a reasonable correlation to legal dispute at hand. So long as the questions are relevant in some way to the case, it is fair ground.
At this juncture, it is crucial to note that questions during a deposition have fewer limits than questions at trial. There are strict limits on the scope of questions allowed during a trial.
How is a Deposition Useful?
A deposition allows each side of a legal dispute to collect statements under oath. If a person lies during a deposition, then they are guilty of perjury. As a result, statements made during a deposition have a high likelihood of truthfulness and accuracy.
Depositions are useful for many reasons, including but not limited to:
- Testimonial Evidence – Depositions can help justify or challenge a request pending the court’s approval;
- Factual Evidence – Depositions can provide factual evidence that might help negotiate a settlement between the parties to the dispute;
- Relevance – Depositions can help evaluate the relevance and the need for a particular witness to appear at trial; and
- Impeachment – Depositions can show that a witness made contradictory statements.
Do Attorneys Participate in a Deposition?
In short, yes, any person called to a deposition is entitled to have attorney representation. But attorney representation is not required. It is entirely up to the deposed witness to decide whether to retain an attorney. But as outlined previously, any information offered during a deposition is made under oath. Given the potential consequences of a mistaken statement under oath, it is highly advisable to retain an experienced attorney before appearing in a deposition.
Do You Need Legal Help?
Whether you are an employee or employer, it is important that you contact a seasoned Florida employment attorney. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Penichet Law for help today.