What does a witness know?
The purpose of the discovery process in legal proceedings is to find out exactly that. This discovery process is a period of investigation to gather the evidence and knowledge essential to legal counsel in building a successful argument in court. Information is shared among parties proceeding the case dismissal, settlement, or the taking before trial. The discovery process can entail several methods of investigation, including answering interrogatories, the production of documents, requests for admissions, as well as
A deposition exists as a part of this discovery process to uncover the facts that will help them prepare to go to trial. But what is it? It is an out-of-court oral testimony in which a witness is sworn under oath to answer a series of questions relevant to the legal matter. In depositions, witnesses are called before counsel and sworn in by a court reporter to unearth the facts of the case.
In such proceedings, a certified court reporter is called to record these testimonies and preserve them for later use. Using a stenograph machine, and often video recordings, the proceedings are documented to be later transcribed.
In federal cases, depositions are governed by rule 30. This is directive that stipulates the circumstances of witness appearance, formal requirements in the reasonable notice of deposition, the production of documents, the requirements in methods of recording (audio, audiovisual, or stenographic), as well as the protocol of the deposition; This meaning the conduction of the officer, as well as the necessary on-the-record statements. Rule 30 also stipulates grounds for termination of the deposition, in addition to regulations for certification and delivery of the transcript and any exhibits that may be cited during the proceedings. A notable piece of Rule 30 is its conditions of an errata, which gives time for a witness to review the testimony and state any changes to the record as an addendum meant to clarify statements for accuracy and full understanding. Most state courts have rules that parallel the regulations set by rule 30 as well.