A deposition is the taking of testimony (your account of what happened), under oath. It becomes a permanent part of your record. It's done to establish as many facts as possible before trial so there are no surprises. And, at trial, if your answers are different than your deposition answers, the opposing attorney may use that against you.
We’ll start by sitting around a table. A court reporter will ask you to raise your right hand and swear that you will tell the truth (they don't use truth serum the last time I checked). The opposing attorney will then ask you many, many questions, some of which pertain to the lawsuit. Many questions will be personal and will seem to have no relevance to your case. The court reporter will type the conversation on their machine. Note that some depositions are also videotaped. Depositions last 2-8 hours (average 2-3 hours).
DO'S AND DON'TS DURING A DEPOSTION:
DO TAKE YOUR TIME. THERE IS NEVER A NEED TO RUSH YOUR ANSWER
ANSWER EACH QUESTION HONESTLY
IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND A QUESTION, OR IT'S AMBIGUOUS, ASK FOR CLARIFICATION
DON'T BECOME ANGRY WITH A QUESTION THAT'S ASKED, VERY FEW QUESTIONS ARE OFF LIMITS
DO RESPOND VERBALLY. THE COURT REPORTER NEEDS TO HEAR YOUR ANSWER, NOT JUST SEE A NOD OF YOUR HEAD
DON'T RAMBLE OR VOLUNTEER UNASKED INFORMATION. JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION PLAIN AND SIMPLE
IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER, SAY "I DON'T KNOW." DON'T TRY TO GUESS
DON'T TRY TO BE FUNNY, OR PISSY; BE STRAIGHTFORWARD AND BUSINESS-LIKE
DON'T THINK THAT YOUR ANSWERS WILL CHANGE THEIR MIND ABOUT YOUR CASE
DO ASK FOR A BREAK IF YOU NEED ONE
IF I OBJECT TO A QUESTION, THEN DON'T ANSWER IT. WAIT UNTIL WE'VE RESOLVED THE ISSUE.