Depositions in Arizona Family Law
Earlier this week, I spent five hours deposing an opposing party in a hotly contested child custody dispute. In Arizona family law we don't often see the use of depositions as discovery tools, however, the deposition can be absolutely pivotal, depending on the case.
A deposition is where a party or a witness is sworn in and the attorney asks the person being deposed questions. Those questions are recorded by a court reporter and the whole affair becomes testimony. During depositions, the attorney can ask about anything and everything. It need not be admissible in court. This makes depositions a fantastic tool for locking in the story of the witness or party and discovery new evidence you may not be able to find otherwise.
For example, when requesting documents or serving interrogatories, an attorney or party can object to a question or document that is outside the scope of the case at hand. During a deposition, the person testifying must answer, even if it is outside the scope of the hearing.
The other reason you may want a deposition during your family law case is to show that the Party or witness is lying. If you get to a trial and the Party changes his or her story you can use the deposition to show that the witness isn't credible. Then you get to use a favorite line of all attorney "were you lying then or are you lying now?"
While depositions are not neccessary or appropriate in all case, I have use depositions in hotly contested custody cases or during complex financial disputes. Depositions can help tuen he said-she-said into an actual version of the truth.
For questions on whether a deposition may be appropriate in your Arizona Family Law case, call the office at 480-649-2905.