A witness deposition is a testimony of a witness done outside of the court. This is normally done in writing for use in court at a later time or for a discovery process which aims to obtain more facts for the case. The witness is also known as a deponent who goes under questioning or interrogation by a lawyer to gather more information regarding a particular case.
While this is part of a legal process, a witness deposition is considered an informal procedure that can proceed without the presence of a judge. During this stage, an attorney interviews the witness to gather important information. The deponent provides his or her testimony under oath.
All the questions asked from the witness and the answers provided are recorded and a written transcript is created. However, before the transcript is considered official, the witness is usually given the time to review the written record for errors. When needed, the transcript can also be used during the trial in the absence of the witness.
The transcript serves as the official written record and copies are provided to all parties once the deposition is completed. On their own, though, the parties involved can also record the deposition using their audio or video equipment.
It is from the witness deposition that lawyers of the plaintiff and the defendant base their succeeding actions as the trial of the case moves on. They may decide then not to push through with the case or ask for a plea bargain after hearing the testimonies of the witnesses.