What to Expect at Your Deposition

Attorney Blog

library book

You have just been notified that an attorney wants to take your “deposition.”  It is natural to be anxious about the process.

The first question you may be having is, “What is a deposition?”  A deposition is a question and answer session where your sworn testimony is recorded word for word by a court reporter.

Another common question is, “What is the purpose of the deposition?”  The main purpose of a deposition is to allow the other side to know what you are going to say at trial.  The ability to know what witnesses are going to say ahead of time is a major reason why most civil cases settle before trial.  Why?  Because knowing everyone’s cards ahead of time allows the parties to make informed decisions regarding the likely outcome of the trial and enables the parties to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case.

Depositions are taken under oath.  Therefore, a deposition can be used to impeach you if you testify differently at trial.  Another useful purpose of a deposition is that it allows the parties to observe the witness and assess how you testify.  Are you credible?  Are you a hotheaded?  Will a jury like you?  These are all important factors that help the parties to know the relative strengths and weaknesses of their case before trial.

Another common question regarding depositions is, “How long will it take?”  This is a difficult question to answer.  If you are a plaintiff in a case, you can expect the deposition to last at least 1½ hours.  However, the duration of a deposition is dependent upon a number of factors and can range anywhere from a half an hour to three hours.

Another common question is, “What kind of questions will they ask me?”  Typically, the first part of a deposition will focus on personal information about the witness.  This information might not seem relevant.  However, a good attorney will want to know what kind of witness the deponent will make at trial.  Also, it is important to know about a witness’ background because this will help the attorney to determine whether the witness will be influential to certain jurors based upon shared experiences.  If the deponent is a plaintiff, the next line of questioning usually focuses around the deponent’s prior medical history.  It is not unusual for 45 minutes or more to pass before any questions are asked about the actual incident.

A good attorney understands that although they have participated in hundreds of depositions, it is not unusual for the deponent to be experiencing the process for the first time.  It is important to discuss the process with the deponent ahead of time and prepare him for the questions that he will be asked so that he will be more comfortable and more like himself during the process.

If you are being deposed, take a deep breath. A good attorney will prepare you and the truth will serve you. A good deposition may ultimately keep you out of court and lead to a settlement of your case.


Mr. Russell Haugen is the best injury attorney in the Chicago area!

In my opinion, Mr. Russell Haugen is the best personal injury attorney in the Chicago area. He is very professional and very hard working person for his clients. His knowledge allowed me to have a good ending for my case. He was awesome to work with. The process took several months but the settled was […]

Barbara I.

Great People to Work With!

They are on top of everything. Great people to work with! Thank you so much for everything you done for me.

Deanna S.

Lee got my Work Compensation checks coming in!

I hired this firm when I got hurt at work. I’m glad I did because my company wasn’t sending any checks. Leandro got my checks coming after talking to workers compensation. The work comp company wasn’t easy to deal with. I’m glad I could relax and let Leandro and Kristal go after them. It took […]

Brian M

Excellent Service.

Very good and professional service I received from Dexter.

Jaime G.

Thanks Jay Johnson!

Very responsive. Always called back and always had an answer to my questions and concerns. Jay handled everything and I just sat back and waited for results. I’ve seen him fight for friends who went through the same situation I did and they all have nothing but good things to say about him. Hopefully I […]

Elizabeth V

Best in town.

They will handle your case. Best in town. They beat everyone.

Striker M

Very Persistent and Very Honest!

After Mr. Evans took over my case, it didn’t take long to get results. I recommend Mr. Evans if you want to get results quick he very persistent and very honest with his clients.

Timothy A

He settled my case for more than I had expected.

Mr. Haugen is always so very kind and very involved with his client. He’s very attentive when it comes to his client relationship. Any questions I had for him were always answered in a very timely fashion, and explained very well. He settled my case for more than I had expected. Great Attorney! Highly Recommended!

Molly P

Thank you so much for great service and representation!

Attorney Russ Haugen was truly amazing. He kept in touch with me every time there was new information or changes with my case. The company he represents were very professional every time I called and responded back within a reasonable amount of time. I would recommend not only Russ Haugen to represent you, but the […]

Alexis W

Russ fought for me and I received more than double from the 1st settlement offer.

In July of 2018 I injured my back on the job. I was advised by someone to find a lawyer. I was given Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices telephone number. I called and had a consultation with Russell Haugen. I knew nothing as far as what to do or expect. He was very informative […]

Sheryl D
View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation