A deposition is nothing more than a question and answer session given under oath. It is pretrial testimony.

It is done in your attorney's office and you're asked to swear to tell the truth. The questions and answers that are given are recorded by a court reporter. Those questions and answers are put into a booklet known as a transcript.

There are two important reasons why you must give a deposition in a medical malpractice case, an accident case or a wrongful death case here in New York.

The first reason is that the defense attorneys want to know what happened to you, how it happened and what injuries you have as a result of whatever you believe was done wrong. It is an opportunity for them to learn how your incident happened and ask you questions about your past history.

The second important reason that you must give answers to these questions is so that the defense attorney can lock you into your testimony before trial.

Years later, when your case goes to trial, you will be asked many of the same questions at trial as you were asked during your pretrial question and answer session. If you deviate from the answers that you gave a few years earlier, the defense will use that opportunity to show the jury that you have contradicted yourself. If your answers are different they will argue to the jury that your testimony cannot be believed because you have changed or altered the answers to those questions years later.

The defense will argue that your memory about these events were better earlier in time rather than at the time of trial.

Now you know the two key reasons why you are required to give pretrial testimony about what happened to you and what injuries you suffered as a result of that.

Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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guy dimartino 01/21/2013 06:11 AM
Gerry Very informative post. I believe there is a third purpose of a deposition and that is to size up the client. How does she look, remember the event, and communicate? Is she credible? And most important, what kind of witness is she, will the jury "like her"? Regards
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