Depositions are one of the permitted methods by which information can be obtained from the opposing party during the discovery process of a North Carolina divorce. Usually the attorney for the plaintiff or the defendant handles the deposition, which may be oral or written. The deposition is a testimony taken under oath, prior to the trial and which can be used in the trial
Who may be deposed?
Deposition is not restricted to the either party alone and may include non-parties, who may be expert witnesses like psychologists or business associates. The party taking the deposition feels that deposing this particular witness will yield additional information that can strengthen their case.
The Process of Deposition
The deposition is conducted on a scheduled date at a scheduled location in the presence of a court stenographer. The deponent (the person being deposed) has to answer questions put forth by the party’s (party taking the deposition) attorney. The other party and his/her attorney may also be present. The deponent may also have his/her attorney present during the process. The attorney’s questions and answers of the deponent are recorded by the court stenographer (either written down or videotaped). The deponent is bound by the answers he has provided and cannot go back on them.
Significance of Depositions
Most often, depositions are used to discredit a witness’ testimony if his answer at trial varies from that in the deposition. Depositions are important because the answers can be used as evidence during trial, if the deponent is a busy professional and cannot come to trial or if the deponent stays far away from where the case is being tried or in the event of the deponent’s death before the trial.