Skip to content

What happens at a deposition?


Just kidding, it isn’t really this scary.

The Deposition Notice

You or your lawyer will receive a “deposition notice” that says when and where your deposition is going to take place.  It will also tell you whether your deposition is going to be recorded by a stenographer or a stenographer/videographer.  A stenographer is the court reporter.  The stenographer will type out everything everyone says.  If there is a videographer, there will be a video camera pointed at you for your entire deposition.

Where is the Deposition?

The deposition will probably happen in a conference room at one of the lawyer’s offices, a conference room at a doctor’s office, or a small conference room in a hotel.

What Happens at a Deposition When I First Show Up?

When you first show up, everyone will smile and greet one another.  Then, the lawyers and stenographers will exchange business cards.  Everything will be very cordial.

Once everyone selects their chairs, the deposition will begin.  Your chair will probably be between the videographer and your lawyer, if you have one.

The court reporter will swear you in.  In other words, the Court reporter will say something like “Do you swear under pains and penalties of perjury that your testimony today will be the truth?”  You are expected to say yes.

What Happens at a Deposition Once the Deposition Starts?

The deposing lawyer (the one asking you questions), will likely first ask you to state your name and address for the record.  Next, the deposing lawyer will ask if you have taken any medications in the last 24 hours.  She is asking this question to see if your ability to testify will be impaired in any way.

Next, the deposing lawyer, will tell you the “ground rules.”  The ground rules are usually something like:

  • Please wait for me to finish asking my question before you answer. 
  • I will try to wait for you to finish before starting my next question.
  • You can ask for a break whenever you want, but we cannot go on break after I ask a question before you answer it.
  • If you answer a question, I will assume you understood it.
  • I (the lawyer) am entitled to an estimate, but I don’t want you to guess.
  • Please say yes or no, instead of shaking your head or saying “huh uh” or “uh huh.”

Then, the lawyer will start asking you questions about either about your background or the substance of the lawsuit.

What Happens at the End of the Deposition?

At the end of the deposition, the court reporter may ask you or your lawyer if you want to “read and sign” or waive.  If you “read and sign” that means you get a copy of the DRAFT transcript before it is final so you can review the transcript and make sure the court reporter didn’t make any typographical errors.  You cannot change the substance of the testimony, but you make corrections to typographical errors.

Kim Beck

Attorney Kimberly Beck

Cincinnati, Ohio

Attorney Kim Beck is the managing member of Beck Law Center, located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She has 15 years of experience as an attorney, mostly on the defense.  She now represents plaintiffs in personal injury cases involving a variety of injuries caused by defecting drugs/ pharmaceuticals, medical malpractice, and other series accidents.  If you would like more information about her background and experience, please review her profile page.

Attorney Advertisement.  Beck Law Center provided this post as general information and should not be construed as creating an attorney/client relationship.  It may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction.  It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice.  Further, this correspondence is not protected by privilege.  No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Scroll To Top