When a witness provides a testimony other than within the confines of a court, it is recorded as a legal document for future reference and referred to as a legal deposition. A legal deposition provides written information that is necessary to a court case. Thus, deposition services may be offered by agencies other than that associated with the court who have the capability to transcribe the deposition. Such transcribers are third-party agents that record depositions, like a court reporter.
Deposition services, and subsequently depositions, are usually solicited in order to know what the witness knows so as to use this information in building a case, and in order to provide a record of whatever testimony a witness gives.
Usually occurring within the confines of an attorney’s office, a witness is sworn in to answer all questions truthfully and is subject to direct examination by the legal counsel that solicited the witness, then cross-examined by the opposing legal counsel. The questions fielded by the attorneys and the answers given by the witness are recorded, audiovisual or auditory, by a firm offering deposition services and the documentation of such recording are given to the legal counsel of both prosecution and defense. Deposition services are usually required before a trial in order to provide the attorneys the necessary documents and testimonies for their preparation.
Agencies offering deposition services are often solicited by legal firms since these firms may not have the necessary manpower to perform such tasks. One other reason why deposition services are asked of independent, third-party agencies is to ensure the validity and integrity of the testimony given by the witness.