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FAQs About Depositions & Court Proceedings

Before you attend court proceedings or give a deposition you should be as prepared as possible. Review events with your attorney, discuss possible questions you could be asked, and research legal resources that can provide additional information about how you can prepare. Below are answers to a few questions you might have in preparing depositions and court appearances. 

What Is a Deposition?

A deposition is an out-of-court hearing / question and answer session involving you, an attorney from our offices, the opposing party’s attorney (or one from their offices) and a court reporter. These are just general questions pertaining to the case and you. Keep your answers brief and on topic. 

You want to be as truthful as you can in depositions. You should not assume or guess in your responses. If you do not know the answer to a question it is okay to reply with “I don’t know”, “I don’t remember”, or “I’m not sure”. 

What Should I Tell My Lawyer?

You might wonder what information is valuable to your attorney, what you should or should not say and what privacy you have with your attorney. There is a rule that allows confidentiality between attorneys and their clients known as ‘‘attorney-client privilege’’. This rule ensures the attorney does not reveal any secrets told by their clients. 

With every case being different, your attorney might need different information about your background and the events that occurred. It’s important to be transparent with them as you may not know what information could be of value to the case. Consult with your attorney about what information they need to know. 

Courtroom Etiquette

Most everyone has seen a courtroom in movies or a crime television series but not everyone has been in a courtroom. These two experiences are drastically different. Below are some general etiquette rules to follow.

  1. Always be punctual or early to court.
  2. Be polite to the judge, other attorneys, jury, and staff present. Refer to the judge as “your honor”. 
  3. When speaking to a judge, be sure to stand.
  4. When the judge and jury enter the room, be sure to stand.
  5. Do not interrupt those speaking.
  6. Come dressed as if you are attending a professional business meeting or religious service. Business professional attire is encouraged.
  7. Keep unnecessary conversations to a minimum.
  8. Limit the amount of items you bring with you. The more you bring, the more needs to be checked by security. This can delay proceedings and you want things running as smoothly as possible.

What Is Contempt of Court?

Contempt of court, also known as contempt, is the disobedience of court orders or actions which impede the functions of justice. The judge can deem unintentional and intentional actions contempt and the guilty party is subject to punishment. Punishment can include fines and local jail time. While these are not considered felonies or misdemeanors, they should be avoided at all costs. 

As mentioned above, you want to be as polite as possible in court, even if you do not agree with what is being said. You can voice your concerns and frustrations however, there are appropriate and professional ways to do so to ensure you are not held in contempt of court. Learn what things to do and not do with your attorney to avoid being held in contempt of court.

Contact Us

If you have any other questions about your case, your deposition, what you should tell your attorney, or other etiquette, don’t hesitate to contact our firm. We want you to be as prepared and comfortable as possible going into depositions or courtroom proceedings. We are here to help and make sure you are as comfortable and prepared as possible.

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