Depose Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Depose, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Depose?

v. 1) Testimony outside the courtroom before a trial at a deposition. 2) To answer questions at a deposition.

History and Meaning of Depose

Depose is a term used in the legal field to refer to the process of giving testimony while under oath outside of the courtroom. This process is known as a deposition and involves answering questions posed by attorneys or legal representatives. The goal of a deposition is to collect evidence in advance of a trial or to uncover information that could prove helpful to a case.

The term "depose" comes from the Latin word "deponere," which means "to put down" or "lay aside." In this context, it refers to putting down or setting forth one's testimony in a formal and recorded manner. Depositions often take place in a private setting with only the deponent, their legal counsel, and the opposing counsel present.

Examples of Depose

  1. During the discovery phase of a lawsuit, both parties agreed to depose several key witnesses to gather evidence.

  2. The CEO of the company was deposed in regards to his knowledge of the fraudulent activity that had taken place.

  3. The witnesses were deposed remotely via video conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legal Terms Similar to Depose

  1. Testimony: An oral or written statement provided under oath and usually given in a courtroom setting.

  2. Subpoena: A legal document that requires a person to appear in court or provide evidence.

  3. Interrogatories: Written questions submitted by one party in a case to another party, which must be answered under oath.