Law Advisor Blog


What do you mean, I’m being deposed?

Kelly S. Kylis

You’ve just received a Subpoena and Notice of Deposition.  You’re wondering, first, what is a deposition, and, second, what that means for you.

Depositions are a critical tool during the litigation discovery process because it is a chance for litigants to ask questions and gather information about the other party and his or her claims in the lawsuit, which is necessary for thorough preparation for trial.  However, for a first-time litigant or witness, the prospect of a deposition (or “being deposed”) can be a scary and stressful experience.  

Depositions typically take place in the offices of one of the attorneys in the case.  Although an informal setting, a deposition is a formal question-and-answer session.  The witness or “deponent” (i.e. the person being deposed) will be placed under oath and his or her testimony will be transcribed by a court reporter, just like giving testimony in a courtroom.  The recorded deposition testimony can be used for several purposes during the lawsuit.  Therefore, it is very important to speak slowly and clearly during the deposition to make sure that the testimony is recorded correctly.  That means take your time, answer only the question being asked, and carefully review any document presented to you.  Equally important, especially if you are providing testimony on behalf of a company, is to prepare for the deposition ahead of time so that you provide complete, correct answers and are not caught off-guard.  This means reviewing any relevant documents about the case and brainstorming potential questions that might come up during the deposition, as well as strategies to answer them.

Our litigation attorneys have decades of experience in both taking and defending depositions. 

If you have been subpoenaed for a deposition in Maryland, Washington, DC, or Virginia and would like to consult with an attorney or need assistance with a pending or potential lawsuit, please contact Kelly Kylis or one of the other litigation attorneys at McNamee Hosea.