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What is a legal deposition?

A legal deposition in an injury lawsuit is a formal process where the injured person testifies under oath, which usually means one of the parties–either the injured person’s attorney or the defense or insurance attorney, assures that a licensed court reporter/stenographer is present to record the injured person’s testimony, which then can be used in certain ways in the injury case. Every state and federal court specifies a written court procedure on exactly how a deposition can be conducted, and other provisions specify how it can later be used once it is typed up by a court reporter. Also, these written court rules specify that such a deposition can be videotaped and some court rules even provide that a deposition may in fact be videotaped and without a court stenographer present. Court reporters are highly trained and most states require licensure.

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What deposition advice can you give me?

A highly competent injury attorney, like those working for Shapiro & Appleton takes the time to review all of the main issues that are likely to come up in a deposition with their client, listens carefully to the client’s version of events and explains how an attorney may try to twist their words against them. Depending upon how serious the issues are in the case, we may spend hours meeting with a client to prepare them for a deposition. Words of wisdom include never lie, never think you can cover-up an issue that you personally believe is irrelevant to your present injuries, as it is up to your experienced injury attorney to learn what you think is irrelevant and then advise you of the law that applies or whether some legal privilege applies that can protect you from disclosing that information. This type of thing is exactly why you decided to hire an attorney so full disclosure is important in confidence as the attorney-client privilege protects certain kinds of disclosures that the law deems inadmissible in an injury case. Just don’t make that decision in your mind without disclosing it to your attorney. Do not think that the other attorney may never find out about some pre-existing medical care that you kind of decided is not relevant. Real bad idea-you must cover with your personal injury attorney. We handle some high-stakes litigation involving serious and catastrophic injuries as well as the routine injury case. In some serious/catastrophic litigation it is not unusual for private investigators to stake out injured persons and we explain this to our clients, as the ramifications can be serious.
About the editors: The motto at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharplaw firm is simple -“All we do is injury law.” We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you’d like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at (833) 997-1774.

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