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A deposition is a discovery device wherein a party or witness (usually in a civil matter) is questioned by the attorneys in the case. Notice of deposition must be disseminated to the deponent and the other parties. Subpoenas can be used to force the appearance of noncooperative witnesses.

During the deposition, the witness is sworn and answers questions of any and all attorneys present. The scope of what is allowable in a deposition is broader than what is allowable during trial, though objections can be made when questions call for privileged, otherwise protected or irrelevant information. The deposition may be video-recorded, transcribed were both, and the witness is given an opportunity to review the transcript and make any corrections before it is considered official.

Deposition transcripts cannot generally be used at trial, though exceptions allow them to be used to establish contradictions in testimony of the deponent, where the deponent is unavailable and in certain other cases.