Definition of "Deposition"

Tracy A. Petersen real estate agent

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Tracy A. Petersenelite badge icon

Elite Realty

Generally, the definition of a deposition means a pre-trial and out-of-court testimony that is given under oath. A deposition is integral to the discovery process to establish a case’s genuine circumstances. 

How does the course of events play out during a deposition?

During the deposition, the opposing attorney will pose questions, and the individual will answer them. The court reporter, shorthand reporter, or court stenographer will record the statements made by a witness under oath. In addition, the court can videotape this attestation of truth. 

The witness may either be a party actively involved in the lawsuit or in the action or an independent person (for instance, an expert witness.) In addition, the statements are made to answer inquiries posed by the attorneys-at-law to both parties. 

At the end of the hearings, they provide the individual taking the deposition with their testimony transcript. Subsequently, they are permitted to make changes to it. 

What are a deposition’s possible outcomes and purpose?

A deposition’s purpose is for the opposing side to find information and details that a witness or expert knows about the case in question. Allegedly, a plaintiff can’t win a case in the deposition. However, the chances are that a defendant can lose their case in a testimony.

The participants must discuss every detail they are concerned about with their attorney before a pre-trial testimony. A legal representative must know the truth before the actual deposition takes place. Suppose an attorney knows every fact before the actual deposition or trial. In that case, they can handle even the more sensitive issues easier than if they find out during the testimony for the first time.  

What should you be aware of during a deposition?

Mindfulness of body gestures and verbal communication are crucial! A testimony, if videotaped, will record your body language. For this reason, attorneys recommend not assuming a hostile body posture. For example, refrain from crossing your arms as a sign of cutting yourself off from the proceedings. Secondly, don’t roll your eyes or wave your hands! 

Deposition in real estate

As we know, divorce and real estate go hand-in-hand. Spouses can take depositions to establish a fair share of personal property at a split-up of marriage. A divorce attorney asks relevant questions about jointly owned real estate and other valuables. 

Among others, they will cover the home’s year of acquisition, the source of the down payment, and the mortgage against the property. Thus, they can identify the precise condition of the marital property and establish the estate’s justified division.

Complex divorce deposition issues

A deposition may bring issues concerning the couple's other possessions to the surface. Each spouse's family lawyer will need to customize extra inquiries to their specific case. For instance, parties may invest in real estate partnerships that own commercial space and lease it to the spouse's company. 

Family farms provide plenty of reasons for contesting the non-farm spouse's rights. Because they frequently entail convoluted family partnerships and agricultural land that a long line of generations inherited or has been the subject of IRS exchanges. Then another source of conflict of interest can stem from the fact that the husband moves into his wife's house and complications ensue. For example, the man puts a lot of effort into revamping and fixing the property single-handedly before the couple decides to split up.

Discussing miscellaneous items at a deposition

In addition, divorce deposition questions can concern other assets, such as mutually owned vehicles and various life insurance policies. At last, when it comes to miscellaneous valuables, such as art, collectibles, antiques, and jewelry, parties often turn to appraisals. However, appraisal experts can overvalue these items for insurance purposes.

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