Depositions – Understanding Motives

When the lawyer is asking you a question, keep in mind the question itself may seem irrelevant, but the question’s importance lies in whether the question is relevant and could lead to relevant material. Questions that may seem irrelevant to you may seem pertinent to the lawyers involved in the case and may lead to information that relates to your particular case.
When the other lawyer asks the question, he/she doesn’t know whether the information you are going to give is relevant or not. For example, while it may seem irrelevant to you that you have had other accidents in the past, this fact may be highly relevant to the other side if it turns out that the prior accident(s) involved similar parts of your body or led to long-standing physical complaints that were around before the most recent accident in question. Without asking, the other attorney does not know what information will later become relevant to him and his case.
At a typical deposition your own attorney will not ask you any questions, because he/she asks you those questions without putting it on the record. Anything you say at the deposition can be used in the courtroom to impeach your credibility later.
In addition to Interrogatories and depositions, the other side may file a Request for Production of Documents. This request will typically ask for medical records, employment records and any other relevant documents, such as tax returns or lost wage information. These documents must be provided.
After the discovery process has been completed, the case will then be scheduled for trial. Prior to trial there may be a settlement conference, as well as an arbitration. Arbitration and settlement conferences are typically used by the court to try and settle cases before they reach the courtroom.
The case is usually scheduled shortly after the settlement conference has been completed.
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