What is a Deposition?

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Depositions are conducted fairly early into your case and are the part of every type of civil case when a person or the witness has to go to a court reporter’s office, is sworn in under oath and has to answer questions such as what happened to them, how the accident took place, what doctors they have seen and what pain they have. The defense attorney and the plaintiff’s attorney also get to ask questions of the defendant witnesses or experts.

The standard for if your attorney is they can ask anything that is “reasonably likely to lead to discoverable evidence”. This means they can ask anything that in anyway relates to an issue that can come up in a case.

However, in depositions the defense attorney is not able to get into several different issues. One of which is any conversation between you and your attorney. This is called the attorney/client privilegedeposition. This privilege also extends to anyone who works for your attorney including any investigator, staff member, secretary, paralegal, not just the actual lawyer working on your case. Anything you have said to them or that they have said to you is covered under that privilege. Attorney/client privilege means that no one can ask you what was said in any conversation that is covered by the privilege and the other side is prohibited from knowing anything you told your attorney or your attorney told you. This is an extremely precious privilege and is not to be taken lightly. You should never violate the attorney/client privilege under any circumstances.

One of the other privileges that is important is the accident report privilege. Anything you say to a law enforcement officer about the crash is private and cannot be used in court against you under Florida law. The difference between this privilege and attorney client privilege is the accident report privilege only prohibits this testimony from coming out in a court of law. It does not protect you in deposition therefore, you will have to answer questions in a discovery deposition about anything you said to a law enforcement officer who is investigating the crash. However, if what is stated does come under the accident report privilege it will not be able to be used against you in a court in front of a jury.

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