What are Depositions?
Depositions allow the attorney to question the opposing party in person outside of a courtroom. Normally, Depositions will take place in an attorney’s office with both parties present along with a court reporter. To take a deposition of an individual the requesting attorney must first file a Notice of Deposition with the Court and notify the deposed party.
How are Depositions different than other Discovery tools?
Depositions take place in person while, Request for Production, Interrogatories, and Request for Admissions is all done remotely. A Deposition allows the attorney to address the opposing party in person. Similar to Request for Production a party can depose a non-party to gather evidence for their case. According to the Georgia Civil Code, “A party may, in his or her notice, name as the deponent a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or a governmental agency and designate with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested.” O.C.G.A. 9-11-30 (b)(6)
Typically, Depositions take place after the Request for Production and Interrogatories are completed. This allows the attorney to ask questions in the Depositions based on the evidence that has been gathered. The questions in the Deposition tend to be more pointed and specific. Further, unlike Interrogatories the attorney is not limited to only 50 questions.
Can Depositions be used at Court?
According to the Georgia Civil Code, a Deposition can be used at a trial or a hearing if it is admissible under the rules of evidence. Also, it can be used to contradict a witness’s testimony in Court. Further, a Deposition of a non-party who is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or a governmental agency may be used for any purpose. A deposition of a non-party individual may be used for any purpose based on certain determinations to be made by the Court based on O.C.G.A 9-11-32. A couple of circumstances that would allow for the deposition of a non-party individual to be used as evidence is whether the individual is dead, out of the country, unable to attend or testify at the hearing due to their age or illness.
Would a Deposition be beneficial to my Family Law case?
Depositions are costlier than the other avenues of Discovery due to having to pay for the attorney’s time and the court reporter. Also, there are costs incurred if an individual does not show up for their Deposition. Therefore, Depositions are rarity unlike its Discovery counterparts such as Interrogatories that are used in almost all cases. However, in Contested Divorces or Child Custody cases, Depositions can be very valuable and beneficial to help gather testimony and evidence to be used at a final trial or hearing. Since Depositions are so costly and can deplete retainers quickly, it is important to have a trusted and experienced Family Law attorney on your side to determine whether Depositions are even needed in your case. Contact our Marietta divorce lawyers online, or call us toll-free at 866-527-2630 to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.