What is a deposition?
As a significant part of the discovery process during pre-trial events, a deposition allows litigants to gather information in anticipation of a case. Specifically, a deposition involves recording witness testimony, while they are under oath, for use in an impending trial. The person being questioned, or rather deposed, must first take the same oath as if they were testifying in a courtroom, even though depositions generally do not take place in actual courtrooms. After swearing an oath, the deponent will then be required to answer any questions asked to him by the opposing counsel, except those relating to privileged matter. During the entire testimony, all communications are recorded by an appointed court reporter using a stenograph (or may alternately be video recorded). A deposition is similar to witness testimony during an actual trial, in that present attorneys may object in certain situations, albeit in a limited manner, as well as cross-examine any witness. Depositions are used in all litigation before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, along with court cases.
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Dr. Thomas R. (Terry) Williamson III is a Patent Attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.
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