How Lawyers Conduct and Use Depositions

Depositions are an important tool in a trial lawyer’s arsenal: whom to depose, the questions to ask, and even the location of a deposition are often carefully considered by experienced counsel. If you are interested in learning more about how an accident lawyer can help you, reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Orange County today.


Why Depose?

Some of the more common uses for depositions at trial are:

  • To impeach. A correctly conducted deposition will lock the witness into one version of a story. Once this is done, at trial, if the witness changes her story, she can be impeached.
  • To refresh a witness’s recollection. There are many tools that can be used to refresh a witness’s memory during trial, and depositions are no exception.
  • To read as an admission. In some jurisdictions, a deposition can qualify as an admission. If this is the case in your jurisdiction, your lawyer can read the admissions out loud during your part of the case.
  • To read in place of live testimony. In some jurisdictions, if the witness is unavailable (or for another legally permissible reason), the deposition can be read into the record in lieu of live testimony. Additionally, rules may apply if the deposition was taken in another case. A personal injury lawyer in Orange County can explain these issues and how they may impact your case.


There is no singular way to use a deposition at trial, however. This means that an attorney will stay abreast of rule changes governing the use of depositions and incorporate any relevant changes into his or her deposition strategy.


Where Depositions Are Conducted

So long as there is room for the witness, relevant lawyers, and a court reporter to sit without being squeezed, then the location of a deposition is not entirely important. Some general rules are:

  • The most common forum of a deposition is in the office of a lawyer working on the case.
  • If a witness is a doctor, the location will usually be at the doctor’s office.
  • For out of town depositions, a hotel conference room, a court reporter’s office, or the office of a lawyer unconnected with the case are some common locations.


That said, some lawyers view the location of a deposition as strategically critical. For example, most lawyers want their own clients deposed at their office rather than at the office of the other attorney. Other issues may be relevant as well.


If you would like to discuss an upcoming deposition, call the Law Offices of Kenneth G. Marks, an experienced personal injury lawyer in Orange County, today to schedule a complimentary consultation and case evaluation.