As part of the civil litigation discovery process, you will be required to testify at a deposition before your employment claim proceeds to trial. Your performance at the deposition can have a major impact on the outcome of your case; consequently, it is important to know what to expect and how to answer the questions you will be asked.
Your appearance is not voluntary but mandatory, and although the proceeding is less formal than trial testimony, you will be placed under oath. Your San Jose employment lawyer will be present with you, and while she can intervene on your behalf, there are not the same evidentiary protections available at deposition as at trial.
In all likelihood, your San Jose employment lawyer will have prepared you in some manner for the questions you will be asked by the defendant’s counsel. Even though you probably know what’s coming, don’t anticipate the questions, but listen to them. If you don’t understand, say so; don’t answer what you think is being asked.
Answer only what’s asked, and avoid expanding and providing details not relevant to the immediate question. If a question can be answered “yes,” or “no,” do just that. If more information is necessary to establish a point in your favor, rely on your lawyer to follow-up with a line of questioning that will establish the evidentiary record.
Opposing counsel can be intimidating, sometimes intentionally. Despite his or her approach, you should remain cordial, professional and above all honest. You are being judged as a witness and how credible you will be on the stand if your case does ultimately end up in trial.
Your role as the plaintiff in your employment law case is critical in achieving a positive result. For an understanding of how you can be an effective witness in your particular case, call the Costanzo Law Firm, APC, a San Jose employment lawyer at (408) 993-8493.
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