Just a few hours of testimony at deposition can produce pages of transcript. If you’re preparing a case for court, it’s next to impossible to read through every witness’ testimony or hire enough paralegals to do that work for you. Saving time, money, and resources are just a few of the benefits of deposition summaries.
What is a deposition summary?
A deposition is a questioning under oath of a witness to find out what they know about a specific event. Once completed, the North Carolina court reporter provides a transcript of the deposition to the attorney(s).
The transcript is the verbatim testimony of witnesses and may also include on-the-record conversations, facts and questions that may not be covered in court, and confidential details of the case. It’s quite a lot to read through and it takes time.
To make the process more efficient, a one to four page deposition summary is provided to report the high points of the deposition, providing a succinct overview of what transpired during the proceeding.
The deposition summary may be used in preparation for a case or in court.
The summary can be used when preparing a witness especially to remind them of their previous statement. Rather than scanning pages and pages of deposition transcript, the summary provides a quick reference.
Opposing counsel can use a deposition summary to quickly discredit a witness or a judge may review for their summing-up statement or use at trial. Juries may use summaries to remind them of particular testimony, saving the time of reading through an entire deposition.
The deposition summary isn’t a story. It’s a statement of facts.
The preparer should keep in mind the summary is a tool for attorneys to use. Being such, it should state the facts of what transpired. Whether they like the witness or the content of what was said or how it was said is irrelevant. It’s not a book report or opinion piece. It is a legal summation of testimony.
At Ruffin Consulting, we provide court reporting services, including deposition summaries, to our clients in North Carolina and beyond. Contact us today to get started.