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What is a deposition?

A deposition is part of the discovery process in criminal and civil proceedings. A deposition is the taking of sworn testimony from a potential witness. A deposition is used to avoid surprise at trial and to preserve testimony while it is still fresh since a trial often occurs months after the deposition. If a witness later becomes unavailable for trial, the deposition can be read into evidence at the trial. A deposition can also be used at trial to impeach a witness if the testimony of the witness at trial is different from the deposition testimony.

Many of the questions at a deposition will not be admissible at the trial. However, you still must answer. Your answer may help the attorneys prepare their case for trial or lead to the discovery of other evidence that would be admissible at trial.

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