Involved in a Lawsuit? Here are 3 Tips for Testifying (Part 1)

Involved in a Lawsuit? Here are 3 Tips for Testifying (Part 1)


{6:00 minutes to read} A witness who is prepared will be the most effective witness for their own case. This advice may seem obvious, but it’s not always followed by clients and their lawyers. This brief note will help you (and your lawyer) to testify successfully at a deposition and in turn to help your case.

Let’s start with the basics: What is a deposition and why is it important?

After a lawsuit is filed, each side, also known as a party, has the right to have their lawyer question the other side about the facts supporting their position. The questioning is usually done at the lawyer’s office. The parties questioned are called witnesses and their answers are known as testimony. There is no judge or jury present, but the witness is sworn to tell the truth and a stenographer records the lawyer’s questions and the witness’ answers.

After the deposition is complete, the stenographer prepares a transcript—which is a written booklet that contains all the questions and answers. The witness’’ statements in the transcript can be used at trial by the opposing side, to either to support or oppose the witness’ case. Although a witness can change their deposition testimony, after the deposition, that usually does not help their case, so they need to get it right the first time.

Depositions are quite possibly the most important part of a civil lawsuit.  Because most cases settle before trial, a party may never get to testify before a judge or jury. Instead, the deposition may a party’s only chance to tell their side of the case. The testimony will also used by the lawyers to determine each side’s strengths and weaknesses and to prepare for trial or settlement.

Join me next time when I share a few tips to consider when preparing for a deposition. Please call us at 212-809-4293 or email us at with questions or comments.


Ron Katter

Katter Law Firm
Phone: 844-WAS-HURT
Alt Phone: 212-809-4293