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How can a deposition be informal if it is given under oath?

I have a workers’ compensation deposition scheduled next week.  I have watched court shows on television, and I am terrified of this.  I do not want to be held in contempt of court.  Are these depositions the same as the court shows on television? 

It was discussed in another article on this website how depositions are generally conducted.  A question arose based on this prior article.  It had been mentioned that a workers’ deposition is an informal process to obtain information.  The question posed was how could it be an informal process if the deposition is given under oath? 

As indicated in the prior article, a deposition is often referred to as an informal process because the deposition takes place in an office instead of a courtroom, and you generally sit at a table rather than in front of a judge.  It indicates that the depositions do not contain the court room drama oftentimes seen on television.  These include police investigation dramas that end with the matter being in court, or an attorney who practiced law at one time and is now a judge hearing disputes between parties on television. 

Being placed under oath means that you are sworn to tell the truth, so of course, you want to be truthful and not misleading to the attorney who is questioning you.  This is what would allow a party to seek a fraud prosecution if the witness lies or intentionally misleads the attorney who is asking questions.  If the witness does not remember an answer to a question or does not know the answer to a question, he or she is not committing fraud.  This will not subject the witness to a fraud charge or affect possible workers’ compensation benefits.  The benefits include permanent disability, temporary disability benefits, and medical treatment.  This is merely an honest mistake.  Your attorney will be with you during the deposition and will likely discuss this with you very thoroughly.  

If you have questions about your workers' compensation injury and want to talk to an attorney in Fresno, please call 1(559) 408-7436 or fill out the form to the right.

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