A deposition is a pretrial question and answer session done in your attorney's office. The setting is somewhat informal. However, the words that you speak are recorded by a stenographer and preserved for trial.
A stenographer is someone who takes the information she hears and basically types them into machine. From that, a word for word transcript is created that reflects every question and every answer given during your deposition.
Court stenographers are trained to listen to all the words that are spoken and to record them. Once the questions and answers are put into a booklet format, it is then given to the person who gave the pretrial testimony to read and review.
Specifically, the witness is asked to review the transcript to make sure there are no typographical errors. The witness is asked review the transcript to make sure that everything that was said is accurately reflected in the transcript. There are some instances where there are inaccurate statements that must be corrected.
The reason why a stenographer is present during your pretrial question-and-answer session is to preserve the information that was discussed.
If instead attorneys were simply to rely on their memory or their own notes, there would be many instances where the exact testimony that was given would not be accurately portrayed at trial. Although there are different ways currently to record voice and images, either by microphone or by video camera, the court system in New York still relies on a live person, known as a stenographer, to accurately record the words that are spoken during a deposition.
At trial, any attorney can use a transcript during cross examination or read parts of it to the jury as evidence. An accurate word for word written transcript allows the attorneys to know exactly what was said and to refresh the witnesses memory of what they said during their pretrial testimony.