Deposition Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Deposition?

n. Testimony taken and recorded away from the courtroom before a trial, of a witness under oath before a court reporter. Depositions are part of the trial’s investigation, scheduled by an attorney whose client in a lawsuit demands the sworn testimony of the opposing defendant or plaintiff, an event’s witness, or an expert that the opposition intends to call. Notice of the time and location for the deposition can be provided to the other side’s attorney if the deponent (person requested to testify) is a party to the lawsuit or someone who works for an involved party. A subpoena must be served on the witness if they are an independent third party who is reluctant to testify. The court reporter records the testimony and prepares a transcript which assists in the trial preparation and can be used to contradict or refresh a witness’s memory.