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Shedding Light on the Case: Demystifying Depositions in Wisconsin Civil Cases

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | May 10, 2024

The legal process can be shrouded in mystery, and depositions are no exception. In a Wisconsin civil case, after the initial pleadings are exchanged, discovery commences. This is where both sides gather information to build their case. One crucial tool in this phase is the deposition. But what exactly is a deposition, and how does it work in Wisconsin?

Depositions 101: A Question and Answer Session Under Oath

Imagine a formal Q&A session outside the courtroom setting. That's essentially what a deposition is. Here's a breakdown of the key elements:

  • Who's Involved? A court reporter is present to record the proceedings verbatim. Attorneys for each side will be there to ask questions. The key player, however, is the deponent, who is the person being questioned. This can be a party to the lawsuit, a witness, or someone with relevant information.
  • The Oath: Before questioning begins, the deponent is sworn in to tell the truth, similar to testifying in court.
  • Location and Setting: Depositions typically occur in a conference room at an attorney's office or another neutral location.

Question Time: Lawyers Take Center Stage

Attorneys for each side take turns asking the deponent questions relevant to the case. The deponent must answer truthfully and to the best of their ability. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Objections Can Fly: If an attorney believes a question is improper or outside the scope of the case, they can raise an objection. The court reporter will note the objection, and the judge may later decide on its validity.

The Importance of Depositions in Wisconsin Civil Cases

Depositions serve several important purposes:

  • Gathering Information: They allow attorneys to gather crucial details from the deponent that may not be readily available elsewhere.
  • Assessing Credibility: By observing the deponent's demeanor and responses, attorneys can gauge their credibility, which can be a significant factor at trial.
  • Preserving Testimony: Deposition transcripts can be used at trial if the deponent is unavailable to testify in person.
  • Settlement Negotiations: Depositions can help parties understand the strengths and weaknesses of each other's case, potentially leading to more informed settlement negotiations.

Considering Legal Guidance:

While depositions are not inherently adversarial, the process can be complex. An attorney can advise you on how to prepare for a deposition, whether you are the deponent or the questioning party. They can also help you navigate objections and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

Depositions are a powerful tool in Wisconsin civil cases. Understanding what they are and how they work can empower you to participate more effectively in the legal process, be it as a party or a witness. Remember, this is a general overview, and consulting with an attorney is always recommended for specific legal advice regarding your situation.

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


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