Why you should just answer the question asked in your deposition. I know it sounds easy, but you would be surprised by how many people struggle with this issue, especially when they get nervous. As you will learn below, in some cases, you can even hurt your case (if you are bringing the claim) by giving an answer to something that was not asked.
Because the focus of this article is general in nature, you should speak with your attorney if you have specific questions as to issues surrounding your upcoming deposition. Your attorney is in the best position to understand the facts and issues present in your case.
HOW DEPOSITIONS WORK…
As I have stated in previous videos on depositions, they are question and answer sessions. Included in the deposition will be the deponent (the person being deposed), the court reporter who will take down everything stated in the deposition to create a record, and the attorneys for all sides. In some cases, a videographer might be present to video record the deposition.
One of the main purposes of a deposition is to get a better grasp on the issues for trial. In addition, a deposition will allow for the attorneys to have an idea of what the possible testimony for a witness will be at trial. A deposition is one way to “lock down” a particular witness’ testimony come trial regarding a specific line of questioning. If the witness answers those questions in a different manner at trial, the attorney might use their deposition testimony to impeach the witness.
WHY YOU SHOULD JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION ASKED IN YOUR DEPOSITION
One reason you want to just answer the question asked is because if you answer more than what is asked, you run the risk of running off on a tangent. When you run off on tangents, you expose yourself to providing information which might not be helpful for your case. This is something that you should really understand before heading into your deposition. Remember, the attorney asking you the question is trying to retrieve information from you regarding pertinent issues in the case.
Answering more than the question asked of you may unearth information that the other side in the case never knew. For example, let us say that in an auto crash case you are asked what color the light at the intersection was right before the crash? You answer, “the light was green, and I was happy because I needed to go home and get some sleep. I had just worked a double shift.”
In the example above, the only question asked was what was the color of the light? Going off on a tangent and talking about your double shift is now going to allow the attorney to home in on the fact you might not be too credible about the light color because you may have been tired and are mistaken as to the color. This is not to say your work schedule that day would not come up, but why give the other side help? Let them do the work themselves. This is the danger that is always present when you answer more than the question asked.
Hopefully now you understand why you should just answer the question asked in your deposition. Again, for clarification as to the issues present in your deposition you should speak with your attorney.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP