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Delk & Tomlinson Law | Family Law for Men Montgomery AL

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By delktomli48103527, Apr 21 2017 07:04PM

A deposition is one of the tools many lawyers use to gather facts about a case. Depositions are where testimony is taken under oath instead of, or in addition to, written discovery requests. Normally, written discovery requests are sufficient to get the information necessary to try family law matters. It is usually cheaper and easier on the client to serve written discovery requests. However, depending on the complexity and specific facts of your case, depositions can be a very useful tool in preparing for litigation.

Depositions are usually held in an attorney’s office. Sometimes you will be required to bring specific documents with you to the deposition. You will be notified if you are required to bring documents. Generally, they are the same documents previously requested in written discovery. A court reporter is present, as well as the attorney taking the deposition, the opposing party, if he or she so chooses, your attorney, and you. The court reporter will place you under oath meaning that you must tell the truth, the same as if you were testifying before a judge. The attorney conducting the deposition will ask questions. You are required to answer all of them honestly.


Your attorney can object to certain questions. However, you must still answer unless your attorney tells you otherwise. This is confusing to many clients. In court, if an attorney objects the judge makes a ruling as to whether the client must answer or not. In contrast, in depositions, your attorney can object, but you must still answer. The reason that your attorney objects is to preserve the objection for trial. This is a technical part of lawyering that most clients have trouble with. Many wonder, “if they can’t use it in court, why do I have to answer?” It is the same as questions asked in written discovery. The parties must answer all written discovery questions truthfully, under oath, whether or not the information provided is going to be admissible in court. In the written responses we turn over to opposing counsel, we include a very broad objection clause in the preamble to your responses that operates the same way your attorney’s objection in a deposition does. There are limited circumstances where you can refuse to answer, including your Fifth (5th) Amendment right against self-incrimination. Because adultery is still a crime in Alabama, you may plead the 5th Amendment if answering would open you up to criminal liability.


Depositions can be tough to get through because the opposing party is sitting in the room with you while you are answering these questions, making it an uncomfortable experience. You must mentally prepare yourself to give short, concise, truthful answers, no matter how uncomfortable you may be. This is good preparation for trial, as the opposing party will also be in the courtroom. Just as you should in a trial setting, you must try to be as calm, cool, and collected as you can be throughout a deposition.


The attorney conducting the deposition may attempt to push your buttons and make you angry in the hopes of getting more information from you. Do not allow yourself to be bullied into reacting poorly in a deposition. If you need a break, ask for one. Your attorney may also request one if they see that you are having trouble. You can ask your attorney questions, but your attorney cannot give your answers for you. Your attorney is there for support and to preserve the right to object at trial. We understand how difficult depositions can be on clients and strive to prepare them to the best of our ability prior to the deposition.


Hopefully this post has removed some of the mystery from the deposition process. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or contact our office at (334) 819-4810.



By delktomli48103527, Nov 18 2016 09:35PM

We want to give you an idea of what to expect during the litigation process. Litigation can be confusing, time consuming, and a miserable process in general. However, in this case, knowledge of the process can sometimes alleviate some of the stress. Consider the following as a general timeline of what you can expect:

• Within a week of retaining: We will begin work on your case. Usually, this means drafting documents on your behalf. Once the paperwork has been drafted, you will be called to the office to sign them.

• Within a month of retaining: Generally, if you are responding to a complaint, we only have thirty days to respond, so we will have filed your answer. We will also file “Discovery” in certain cases. Discovery is simply one party asking the other party questions that they must answer.

• Within three months of retaining: If there are temporary issues in your case, we will file a motion with the Court asking for temporary relief.

• Within six months of retaining: (Hopefully sooner!) Depending on the county, we will hopefully have a final hearing at this point. Again, the timing for a final hearing is almost COMPLETELY county and even judge specific. It also depends on how complicated your case is. Things like children, businesses, and retirement could extend the time necessary to adequately prepare for a case.

Individual judges have control over their dockets, and over scheduling hearings. There are over 50 Circuit Court Judges in the State of Alabama who hear family law matters. This means there are over 50 different dockets, and over 50 different ways of doing things. What could take two months in a rural county could take six months in a busy circuit. There are also issues like settlement and mediation that will fall somewhere in the midst of all of these things.

We know waiting can be frustrating. We strive to keep in regular contact with our clients regarding their status. Please feel free to call us if you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation.

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